In just two weeks Germany has managed to break three solar energy records! First the Fraunhofer ISE solar energy research institute that monitors solar output in the country noticed a rise to a record 24.24 gigawatts around midday on June 6, 2014. During the same week, solar power systems around Germany generated a total of 1.26 terawatt-hours of energy, and on the following Monday, German solar power took center stage once again by accounting for 50.6 percent of total electricity demand, which means half the total energy powering the country came from photovoltaic panels.
This news marks an amazing step forward for solar energy, but even more so because Germany receives some of the world’s least intense sunlight. According to an energy map produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Germany sees average solar irradiation levels worse than even the U.S. Northwest and Alaska, with an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per square meter for the duration of a year.
Despite this lack of intense sunlight, Germany Trade & Invest’s Tobias Rothacher said the country has over 1.4 million photovoltaic systems. These systems even produce surplus solar energy on particularly sunny days, and an additional 4,000 battery storage systems have been added to the system due to an incentive for residential lithium-ion battery systems implemented roughly one year ago.
If a country with such poor solar resources can be a shining beacon for green energy there’s no reason America and other places around the world can’t do the same.