According to the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR), German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity last Friday and Saturday which is roughy equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity. This is great news for another country that is set to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.
Long term, all nuclear reactors will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.
If you’re wondering just how much electricity that is, 22 gigawatts supplied nearly 50% of Germanys midday electricity needs.
As Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute, explained: “Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity,”
Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources. This record breaking event is evidence that solar can be used at scale, and is a reliable alternative for every power needs (which many critics will often argue against).
In Germany, incentives through the state-mandated “feed-in-tariff” (FIT) are the lifeblood of the industry until photovoltaic prices fall further to levels similar for conventional power production… although, Merkel’s centre-right government is trying to accelerate cuts in the FIT, which has already fallen by between 15 and 30 percent per year, to nearly 40 percent this year.