German solar power producers have once again set a new world record in solar energy production by pumping 14.7 TWh of electricity into the power grid during the first 6 months of 2012. That’s 4.5% of the total power production during that period. Considering that solar power isn’t baseload power, those TWh’s came in the form of valuable peak-load power covering 10-50% of peak demand every day.
This record also represents a 50% increase over solar power production during the same period in 2011, something that becomes shockingly obvious considering that photovoltaic power produced a total of 19 TWh’s during the 12 months of 2011.
While the approximately 1.2 million “solar power plants” owned by households and businesses are producing clean energy from sunshine in record numbers, new solar systems are also being installed throughout the country. Between January and April, another 73,756 solar power systems with a combined capacity of 2,328 MW were installed, according to numbers published by the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency). This should put the cumulative installed solar power capacity in Germany at approximately 28 GW as we enter the second half of 2012 (that’s more than China’s 2015 target of 21 GW).
With political attacks on solar energy being put to rest at the moment, solar power is on track to becoming the 3rd-largest source of renewable electricity this year, right behind wind power and power generated from biomass.
I am a close observer of the renewable energy revolution in my home country Germany and around the world. As a full-blooded enthusiast, I spend a lot of my spare time reading about the technological, political, social and cultural developments that drive the renewable energy revolution and their benefits to society. I studied media & computer science at university and work as a freelance graphic / interface designer. I love visualizing complex information, data, & the relationships that connect them to our world.