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Germany Sets New Solar Power Generation World Record

Solar panels – Germany

Germany’s solar power installations have now produced a world record 22 gigawatts of power (updated: at its peak for the day), the Institue of Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) has reported. This is equivalent to the power from 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity. This feat occurred in the middle of the day last Friday and Saturday.

As regular readers will know, due to public demand Germany made the bold decision to ditch nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011. Germany has shut down 8 nuclear plants and will shut down the 9 left by 2022. The plan is to replace this nuclear power with renewable energy, including solar, wind, and biomass.

It seems that Germany is off to a great start. A spokesperson from the IWR, Norbert Allnoch, told Reuters, “”Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity.”

The electricity produced amounted to a third of the highly industrialized country’s energy needs on Friday, a fully operating business day, and close to half on Saturday.

It’s notable that Germany’s total amount of installed solar power capacity is as much as the rest of the world combined. Germany is planning to cut its emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, only 8 years away now. It seems the country is on the right track in terms of renewable energy generation. The rest of the world has a bit of catching up to do!

Image CC licensed by Till Westermayer: Solar panels, Germany

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous

    “Watts per hour”? That’s an acceleration: Joules per second per hour.

    Even the original article doesn’t make it clear what they mean.

    I suspect that what they actually mean, is that for a period of time (“through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday”, from the OA), they produced their 22GW of electricity. Was that an average across those 24 hours, or was it just those two midday hours? Even that isn’t entirely clear.

    I’m not knocking the achievement, but the clarity of the language used is wanting.

    Actually, there’s another problem with that reuters article: they represent the Energy value Killowatt Hour (J/s * 3600s) as Killowatt/Hour and kw/h.

    Actually, perhaps that’s the source of the confusion? Did Germany generate 22GW for an hour, or did they generate 22GWh, or (22 * 3600 * 1 GJ = 79,200 GJ or 79.2 TJ) ~80 Terajoules of electricity?

    I suppose you could call it nitpicking, but I’m left confused as to what the achievement actually was.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    Sorry for the confusion. It is a peak hour figure, so around midday power peaked at 22,240 MW. For the whole day Germany’s solar produced around 170 GWh of power. The 22 GW was the peak. 

    To put that into some perspective, I understand that 22GW would be enough to power the whole of Australia at a typical midday. Pretty good achievement. 

  • Anonymous

    Right, thanks for that, is a lot clearer now.

    As I said, I wasn’t knocking the achievement – new records in photovoltaic generation are always good – I just got tangled up in the units.

    Could I ask you to post the link to your source (the IWR report?)? The Reuters article doesn’t seem to have it.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    Sure, it’s the top article in the news here:  http://www.iwr.de/
    It’s in German, but Google translate seemed not to do a bad job.And I’d say the Institute got their info from the transparency platform of the european energy exchange (EEX): http://www.transparency.eex.com/