Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Germany Nears 50% Solar Record

Germany is going into solar power in a big way.   On Friday and Saturday, the country's new solar grid put out 22-gigawatts of electricity, the equivalent of 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity, and  nearly half of the country's electrical demand.

"Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity," Allnoch told Reuters. "Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over."

The record-breaking amount of solar power shows one of the world's leading industrial nations was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed.

Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources.

Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020.


Anonymous said...

This probably isn't a coincidence: Germany imports 90% of their domestic oil and gas. They do have some reserves in the North Sea, but fully 2.4 of the 2.6 million bbl/d Germany consumed in 2004 was imported. Given those numbers, and the skyrocketing costs of crude, I'm hopeful that successive German governments will see the fiscal wisdom of getting 100% off the petro-tit.

Anonymous said...

This is great news, but Germany has also experienced significant problems with the transmission grid. Distributed power generation like solar and wind put different loads of the grid than centrally generated power. As a result they have a large cost ahead of them for redesigning the grid. At least we can learn from them and minimize the grid problems and the costs for he redesign.