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