Here in Ontario, the provincial government last year started our own super subsidized solar microgeneration program – $0.81/kWh “earned”, if generated from a rooftop photovoltaic panel, which is about ten times the value of that same electricity flowing the other way, purchased from the grid. I’ve been tempted to jump into it, just on the charming theory of personal backup power in case the grid goes down. (I will leave aside whether such a subsidy makes any economic or environmental sense.)

But for the scruple-free, it provides an opportunity to maximize profit using this European technique:

A German aristocrat of my acquaintance has figured out that the price he will be paid for the output of a solar panel is so high compared with the price he will pay for his input of normal electricity, that he is thinking of rigging up powerful arc lamps to shine on solar panels on his extensive roof.

UPDATE: Someone’s actually tried this scam.