Does Germany have enough sun for their solar technology?
Article from Zachary Shahan, Cleantechnica.com
It was just reported the other day that Germany has broken its monthly solar power generation record yet again. (This follows a couple of record-breaking days in terms of solar output, news about the first of which was broken by CleanTechnica, and the second of which is noted in the chart on the right.) In July, the super-grey country rose above 5.1 TWh of electricity from solar panel systems. That’s according to the latest data from the EEX Transparency Platform.
That actually beats the 5 TWh of electricity from wind turbines that the country logged in January (it’s also a wind power leader, in case you weren’t aware).
More emphatically, that crushes the 0.764 TWh of electricity solar PV and solar thermal systems produced in the US in May 2013 (the latest month for which we have data) as well as the 0.522 TWh produced in the US in July 2012.
If we assume the US got the same amount of sunshine in July 2013 as in July 2012, and that solar power capacity grew by the same proportion between May 2013 and July 2013 as between May 2012 and July 2012, the US net generation total for solar PV and solar thermal in July 2013 should equal about 0.780 TWh. In other words, despite having a ton more sun(see the maps below) and being larger geographically than all of Europe, the US generated about 6.5 times less electricity from solar power than Germany did in July. Stunning. Depressing. Motivating….
Getting back to Germany’s new solar power record, sunny weather and increased solar power capacity raised the country’s July 2013 output about 42% over its July 2012 output.
Another wonderful thing to note about Germany’s massive solar power capacity is that it’smostly on the roofs of homes and businesses. Furthermore, the massive increase in solar panel installations in the country has brought down the price of solar considerably, making it nearly half as much as in the US, despite higher labor costs.
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About the Author
Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization –Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.