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Germany’s dazzling success with small scale solar energy

the really meaningful story starts with a different number: 189.24 GWh. That’s the amount of electrical energy generated from more than a million PV solar systems spread all over the country on that record day. Not only was this almost 14% of Friday’s total electricity consumption in Germany, it was also, actually, not that unusual.

For the last couple of weeks, the output of PV solar peaked within an inch of the 20 GW line several times, and it never peaked very low throughout the month. The lowest peak load was 8 GW, while the average peak load of PV solar was 16 GW. So, it seems that solar is not as unreliable as conventional wisdom and media outlets often lead people to believe. Because I can tell you that we didn’t have 4 weeks straight of sunshine here in Germany, that’s for sure.

In-Depth: Germany’s 22 GW Solar Energy Record Clean Technica, MAY 31, 2012 BY THOMAS Last Friday, on the 25th of May 2012, Germany set a new world solar energy record in photovoltaic solar energy: 22.4 GW of photovoltaic energy on the grid covering over 30% of all energy demand! That’s the equivalent of 20 huge conventional fossil or nuclear power plants. This is clearly amazing news that made headlines around the world and was accompanied by either praise or the typical anti-solar bickering that is rather dominant in big media outlets even today (or especially today).

The latter didn’t mind even using this incredible clean energy accomplishment to repeat the usual ignorant talking points, disinformation, or flat out lies. Unfortunately, those news pieces and early articles praising the event didn’t fully exploit the opportunity to explain the true significance of having so much solar energy in the energy mix, especially when looking at the technological developments and opportunities of the coming years.

Beyond the Gigawatts

So, it’s obvious that, in my opinion, the story of this solar energy record shouldn’t stop at the number of 22.15 GW of peak output. In fact, the really meaningful story starts with a different number: 189.24 GWh. That’s the amount of electrical energy generated from more than a million PV solar systems spread all over the country on that record day. Not only was this almost 14% of Friday’s total electricity consumption in Germany, it was also, actually, not that unusual.

For the last couple of weeks, the output of PV solar peaked within an inch of the 20 GW line several times, and it never peaked very low throughout the month. The lowest peak load was 8 GW, while the average peak load of PV solar was 16 GW. So, it seems that solar is not as unreliable as conventional wisdom and media outlets often lead people to believe. Because I can tell you that we didn’t have 4 weeks straight of sunshine here in Germany, that’s for sure.

Looking at the daily power production during the first 4 weeks of May makes this even more obvious. While it is not a constant increase day by day, the weekly output is increasing steadily as we are heading towards mid-summer. During the first week of May, solar energy produced about 780 GWh of electric power; and, at the end of the month, during the record-breaking week, it amounted to 1,096 GWh or 1.1 TWh. Those were enough GWhs to meet almost 12% of the total power needs in Germany that week!

Looking into the Future

So, what does this mean for the future? (Especially considering the fact that there is enough suitable roof space left to increase solar capacity by up to 5-10 times without many problems.)

In my opinion, there are two significant developments that are currently taking place which will revolutionize the energy system in a rapid and unprecedented way. This fundamental structural change could start within the coming decade and might put the world on a more sustainable path a lot faster than the 30- to 70-year time tables that are proclaimed as ambitious goals by many politicians and energy industry “experts” around the world.

The first major development is the fact that the renewable energy system beats the conventional energy system in terms of prices already…….

The second huge development is what is happening in energy storage right now. ….. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/137a6ed1432cd545

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June 1, 2012 - Posted by | decentralised, Germany

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