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German Solar Power Production 50% Higher In 2012

Solar panels, Germany

A boost in solar panel installations over the first nine months of 2012 has already led to a more than a 50% boost in solar power production in Germany.

On Monday, the German utility industry association BDEW said that solar power output rose from 25,000 GW hours from January to September from 16,500 GW hours a year earlier.

Solar power rose from 4.1% to 6.1% of the country’s overall electricity production. Wind still made up most of the renewables, increasing from 8% to 8.6%, biomass plants accounted for just under 6%, and hydropower made up 3.8%. All renewable energy combined made up about 26% of electricity production over the first nine months of this year.

These are all enviable numbers, but it has come at a cost. One of the biggest issues has been building the necessary infrastructure to seamlessly integrate the increasing amounts of renewables, leading to pricing impacts and some grid stability concerns. In October, grid operators said the tax that pays for this transition from nuclear will go up nearly 50%, reaching about 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the government will continue pushing for 40% renewables by 2020, with an overall goal to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022.

Image CC licensed by jim Winstead: Solar panels on houses in Germany

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