After the disaster at Fukishima, Germany vowed to never install a new nuclear station again, immediately decommissioning eight plants. Instead it would turn to renewables to generate the energy required to run the country.
Thanks to the early summer weather experienced over the weekend, Germany’s solar power plants generated a record 22GW of power per hour at noon on both Friday and Saturday. In fact on Saturday, solar power in Germany provided almost 40 percent of the total power demand in the country.
The 22GW figure, reported by the Head of Germany’s renewable energy agency, Norbert Allnoch, accounts for almost half of national electricity demand and is equivalent to the power output of 20 nuclear power plants.
Coincidentally, the UK Government’s ambition for total solar generation by 2020 is 22GW, a figure which is clearly attainable considering the weather patterns in Germany are very similar to those experienced in the UK.
The German solar market has long been held up as the industry’s leading light, with over 25GW of solar capacity installed to date. Even those in Westminster have been quick to call on the UK solar market to emulate our European compatriot’s success.
Last weekend’s figures demonstrably show how significant a role solar can play in a national energy mix. Following DECC’s recent revisions to the Feed-in Tariff scheme and the admission that solar PV technology will now be included in the Renewables Roadmap, Germany’s solar generation figures should go someway in persuading those in DECC that solar can be a major player in the future of UK energy.