Germany Sets New Solar Record
Reflecting back on some of our trips to Germany, we couldn't help notice each town dotted with roofs of endless solar panels. Fields of cows separated by clusters of these non-invasive solar harnessing panels and traditional German country homes beautifully contrasting the modern aesthetic the solar panels bring. Mind you, being in Germany, there was no shortage of impressive architecture, modern design and (of course) high efficiency sustainability.
As it turns out, we were observing rightly; "never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity. Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over."
The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022. They will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.
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.
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 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.