Germany Breaks Solar PV Record: 50% Powered Purely By PV
Author: David Thomas
Published: Tuesday, 29 May 2012
For the past week, Britain's been lavished with hot sunshine from a cloudless sky. It's turned many of our hides another colour - redder or more bronzed - and those of us with solar panels on our rooftop have generated a healthy amount of electricity.
As one of the first nations to pursue renewable energy, our German neighbours have a more developed solar PV culture than we do. This past weekend German solar PV plants generated a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity at the peak hour of noon. This amount is the equivalent to 20 nuclear power points combined. Nuclear tends to generate electricity steadily, whereas solar PV fluctuates with the sun's cycle, and other factors.
To put 22 gigawatts in perspective, it would power half of Germany. The day before the milestone was achieved, the country's PV plants managed one third of its requirements. The press around this PV milestone has extra traction thanks to the steps taken in the wake of Japan's Fukushima scare. Germany has taken the decision to close all her nuclear stations by 2022, after a review commissioned by Angela Merkel.
20% of Germany's annual energy requirement is generated renewably, 4% is solar PV. Many will ask the questions, where? and how? will the extra energy come from? Part of the solution is the other renewables: biomass and wind, for example.
Germany's taking bold action: hopefully this will prove a greener future is viable on a wider international, and with any luck Britain follow suit.