FORWARD BASE B

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Germany’s New Solar Power Record

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs.

“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity,” Allnoch told Reuters. “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 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. Link

The text doesn’t mention that for the overall 24h period Saturday May 26, it produced a total of 20% of Germany’s power needs.

Weather for Berlin on Friday & Saturday shows it was very sunny the entire 2 day stretch. Below is a graph of the average hours of sunshine in Berlin, which shows that May is the absolute highest month for average sun hours.

Germany uses about 544,500,000,000 kwh (2008), though I would imagine that number has gone down some because of the high prices. The technology has been becoming increasingly efficient, but only in increments, not in the orders of magnitude required to meet the full energy demands for modern countries. The only reason Germany can take the lead on solar is because they are the economic powerhouse of the EU, they are the one of the few countries that can afford to hike up electricity prices to subsidize solar and other alternative energy options. At this point the cost is still too high for most countries to consider solar as a primary option.

2 responses to “Germany’s New Solar Power Record

  1. Al Fin May 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Good commentary. Big solar and big wind could be considered the “New AIDS of Germany” in terms of their affect on the economies that go too deeply into dependency on them. Deadly, but in a subtle and extended manner.

    Solar power is one of the “intermittent unreliable” forms of energy which power grid managers hate, and which causes industrial power consumers to consider moving to other countries where power utilities can guarantee quality, price, and availability of service.

    Without reliable and affordable energy, economies collapse either quickly or slowly. Without local commerce and substantial employment, people cannot afford to start and raise families, pay their taxes, pay for a mortgage, etc.

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