Gallery: Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Countr...


Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid last weekend, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand. After the Fukushima disaster, Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity!

Germany’s solar power industry has always been a world leader, but since the the country closed eight nuclear power plants after the Japanese disaster and announced they would be shutting down the remaining nine by 2022, pressure to find alternative energy has mounted. Other sources such as wind and biomass are expected to pick up the slack, but solar power has never been more important.

By meeting a third of its electricity needs on a work day and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed, Germany’s solar power industry has broken all previous records. Speaking to Reuters, Norbert Allnoch, director of the IWR said: “Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity. 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.”

“This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power,” Allnoch said. “It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants.” By receiving government-mandated support for renewables, Germany has became a world leader in renewable energy. Currently the country gets about 20% of its overall annual electricity from renewable sources and has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined. Like most other European countries, it is aiming to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020, but at this rate it is the country most likely to actually follow through.

+ Renewable Energy Industry

via Reuters

Images: Rooftop solar panels, Shutterstock, © mueritz Bjoern Schwarz


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Barbara Ravis December 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

    When I posted this on Fb – this was an interesting article a friend posted back – so what\\\’s the real story?

  2. rfmarine December 7, 2014 at 5:10 am

    \\you seem to think it is important to belittle Germany’s efforts to adapt to RE.\\

    sure. the world doesnt need more yes men. They need a few skeptics and devils advocates. If it works then it will work regardless of how critics criticize it

    \\But, as we can see, they have moved a great distance to that goal, and this event merely shows what is possible.\\

    france also shows us what is possible and they have even less fossil fuels in their grid

    \\New advents in battery tec will soon move that goal closer yet.

    If its all the same to you i’ll wait till those new batteries actually come out and are used

  3. pmanke December 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

    rfmarine; you seem to think it is important to belittle Germany’s efforts to adapt to RE. In a very short time frame they have done a great deal to move in that direction and do not claim complete independence from burn-tec and nuke-tec as yet. But, as we can see, they have moved a great distance to that goal, and this event merely shows what is possible. New advents in battery tec will soon move that goal closer yet. We all must know that the human ego is well versed in fear encouragement tactics, and depends upon it for its very existance. So the mere advent of a peaceful energy paradigm is a threat to those who embrace conflict and competition in the world we choose to see. Suspend your disbelief for one moment in seeing and the whole universe will change direction for you!

  4. pmanke December 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Unfortunately, the USA population has the option to delude itself with its wide open spaces. The entire world is affected when a nuke plant fails. That risk is beyond the responsibility of any one corporate or government body, as they have so crassly proven. Nuke plants have proven to benefit some investors greatly with government subsidized fuel, construction, and insurance, and they have distorted the benefits Vs risk with passionate sounding lies.

  5. rfmarine July 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

    “Germany seems to have the correct philosophy having renewable resources to power the electrical grid with solar and wind.”

    thats not the whole truth. germany uses coal and imports electricity from other EU countries too. it has no choice because some times there are non windy nights

  6. Doug Strabala July 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Germany seems to have the correct philosophy having renewable resources to power the electrical grid with solar and wind.

  7. rfmarine July 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    \\It is a great news that one country is able to meet its energy needs through greener means, then why not other countries follow suit and save earth and money?\\

    well for one thing, germany was only able to do that for a few hours before and after local noon. What about the rest of the day, much less the rest of the year? Look here

    you can see from the graphs that there are huge fluctuations in the power produced and germany uses either coal or import/export to other countries which in turn use hydro/nuclear/fossil fuels to balance out the fluctuations. Solar and wind alone are unviable without a large scale energy storage tech and that doesnt exist yet.

    Its fortunate germany can use its neighbors to make up for the unstable power. What if you were a region that had no interconnections like japan, south korea or hawaii?

    as for saving money, why dont you ask the local people if their electrical bills are high or low specially if you compare it to the bills of french people

  8. aecali July 3, 2014 at 4:05 am

    It is a great news that one country is able to meet its energy needs through greener means, then why not other countries follow suit and save earth and money?

  9. ugc December 30, 2012 at 5:34 am

    is there any possible for me to venture into this tecnology in india?how to go abt .i will be greatfull if some one could help me out.

    mrs udupa

  10. Chandalia Sanjiv August 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Nice project.

  11. hermano June 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @ all the Negative comments:
    Of course PV alone is not the holy grail. Also the quite bad (in your eyes) efficiency is a problem. It cant be raised a lot higher though and it doesnt have to. Please dont be a PV Efficiency Snob.

    @sainteco: Ok, I dont really want to know how many subsidies gasoline and especially Diesel got the last 50 years (asking for less tax is subsidy in my eyes and cofinancing refineries as well)

    So lets consume less electricity (waste less) and get some storage going. And everything is going to be fine.

  12. saintEco June 4, 2012 at 8:28 am

    One weekend! We need it all year, 7/7, 24 hours, be it rain, snow, mist or night. So what? And the costs: roughly Euro 18 billion in subsidies per year, to be paid to the solar panel owners by the tenants, the electricity bills of the poor and taxpayers. Keep on dreaming, reality is bitter.

  13. elgy bee June 3, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Congratulations to Germany for getting “nearly half its week-end electricity demand from PV”. BUT, for how long did the PV supply the energy during that week-end?

    Solar PV has an enormous weakness in the very low energy yield it provides, since the peak generation may not last for even an hour (or perhaps 2) a day. What about the energy needs for the remainder of the 24 hours of the day? It must come from some other sources, whether coal, nuclear or other sources.

    The nominal energy needs of users is about 6,000 kWh a year for every kW of demand (at least in Malaysia & probably so in other countries as well) while PV can only generate about 1,200 to 1,400 kWh a year pwer kWp of capacity (again in Malaysia) while the yield in Germany is said to be only about 1,000 kWh per kWp a year.

    I appreciate that some other renewables (like hydro, biomass & biogas) have a better yield performance compared with PV. I believe that solar thermal power generation in desert areas is a much better solution than PV per se.

    So should we get carried away with the apparent (perhaps virtual?) benefits of PV as an energy solution for our future needs?

    Sorry to be a “wet blanket” on solar PV, but let’s get real about PV.

  14. honeynutcornflakes June 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    solar power, in Germany? and we’re complaining (UK) renewable energy resources like wind and tidal aren’t good enough? IT ISN’T EVEN THAT SUNNY IN GERMANY! why are we using fossil fuels?! argh.

  15. RuhrChick June 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Interesting…. that is TOTAL news to me (though living here). We WANT to abandon nuclear power FOR EVER but all we ever hear is that it’s not possible to generate sufficient power by green methods alone. Instead, we are importing nuclear(ly) generated electricity from France, who in turn increase their number of plants and then dump that waste in German coal mines….I say, fork that. Who is fooling whom here?! ….it seems an endless cyclical (lobbyist) battle.

  16. RFMarine May 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    It would have been more impressive if germany didn’t stop using nuclear power plants. To minimize the amount of greenhouse gases, what germany should have done and what every body else should do is to first expand renewables. Then as you are able to produce extra electricity from renewables, you are able to one by one shut down un needed non renewable power plants. To maximize greenhouse gas reduction, you prioritize which plant you shut down first. Priority would be given to plants that produce greenhouse gases – fossil fuel plants. Nuclear plants would be last in line.

    Although you slightly increase the risk of a nuclear plant accident by this, you also maximize the greenhouse gas emissions decrease. The accident chance is already so small and the current status of climate change is so bad that this risk is worth it.

    AFAIK germany has already shut down 8 nuclear plants. Maybe they should have first shut down 8 coal plants instead.

    Also, this report does not mention the huge expenses involved with renewables, including new transmission lines

  17. msyin May 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Overall Germany is leading the way and showing that it can be done. It will be very interesting to see where we all are in just the next 4 years. The USA has so much in fighting to even get something done while Europe with all of its problems with the EU is still making strides and individual countries like Germany, Scotland and Spain are chugging right along. We can either get to work or keep picking things apart. Stories like this make me happy because it is some much needed good news.

  18. thx.1138 May 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Wow! Germany has 79 square miles of photovoltaics deployed. Does anybody know how much that costs?

  19. tezz10 May 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I love it how much power they are getting from sun!
    However, there’s one thing Allnoch forgot to mention – energy that Germans import from Poland. Another reason why they “can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants” is that they are buying more from polish… coal-burning plants.

  20. Basti May 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    combind with wind bio gas and water plants we had nearly 100 percent Bio Energy On the wekeend
    its so fast growing here !!! 😉

  21. joseph1990 May 30, 2012 at 8:53 am


  22. bigvibes May 30, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Germany’s a great model for the rest of the world. Thanks for proving that carbon emission reduction targets can be met by a developed nation.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home