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Clean Power solar power record germany

Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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BREAKING: Germany Sets Solar Power Record (Again) — 23.9 GW

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July 7th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
[Update July 12] See a more in-depth post about this record day here: Sunday, Solar Sunday — Germany’s July 7 Solar Power Record In-Depth

It has been a very sunny day here in western Poland, so I knew it was basically the same in Germany (it always is) and that there was a good chance Germany would break its previous solar power output record. So, I’ve been keeping an eye on SMA Solar Technology’s live solar power output tool for the country.

Sure enough, a few hours ago, solar output climbed above the 22.68 GW solar power output record Germany set in April. Not long after, it climbed above the 23.4 GW solar power output record set in June. At its peak at about 1:45pm local time (one hour ago), the output got up to 23.9 GW. (Actually, I thought I saw it reach 24 GW at that time, but the replay isn’t showing it go above 23.9 GW.)

I’m sure an official number still needs to be confirmed, but a full 0.5 GW increase according to SMA’s site makes for a very safe conclusion that we have a new record. It is an estimate based on the output of thousands of SMA solar power systems spread across the country.

Germany’s peak electricity demand at midday is about 60 GW, so at 1:45pm or so, solar power was providing about 40% of the country’s electricity demand. Impressive. Approximately 1.3–1.4 million solar power systems were involved in creating that massive electricity output, our German solar expert Thomas tells me. And about 8.5 million people live in buildings where solar power systems are used to produce electricity or heat.

As we’ve reported many times before, Germany is the clear solar power world leader at the moment. (Though, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic actually beat it on solar power per GDP). Despite what Fox News or Fox & Friends might want to tell you, it’s not because of Germany’s “excellent” solar resources — its solar resources are comparable to Alaska’s. Rather, it’s because the country has had a simple, strong policy in place (solar feed-in tariffs) to stimulate solar power installations on homes and businesses.

–> For more on Germany’s solar power leadership, check out: 10 Solar Lessons From Germany.

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About the Author

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 since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director 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.



  • Malaclypse

    sma.de projected 24.7GW for yesterday, July 21st. Surely that must have been the next record. Confirmation?

  • yuval

    And it is shameful that Israel which is a much sunnier country than Germany, far more dependent on foreign energy sources, has such a ridiculously small portion of its energy derived from the sun. However, with the acquisition of the defunct Better Place by Sunrise, it will make sense for the Solar developers to augment their presence and charge car batteries directly with solar power, therebt cutting dependence on utilities and selling power in direct competiton to gasoline – which goes for 9$ a gallon

  • Toni

    Could it be that the SMA number is the amount of solar power actually produced, including self-consumption, and EEX data is the amount of power sold to the 4 grid operators to get the feed-in-tariff?

  • Toni

    You should note that the SMA data is only an approximation. Actual values can be seen in almost real time in http://www.transparency.eex.com/de/.

    Also, last sunday solar power was more like 50% of actual production:

    http://www.transparency.eex.com/de/daten_uebertragungsnetzbetreiber/stromerzeugung/tatsaechliche-produktion-von-erzeugungseinheiten%20%E2%89%A5%20100%20MW

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      both are approximations. it’s not clear which is actually more accurate.

      • ThomasGerke

        While I treat EEX as “official” it might actually be that SMAs numbers are more accurate.They are based on live values by more than 30k solar systems in Germany.

        Dunno what the TSO’s /EEX base their calculations on.

  • Danno

    Report on the solar story and leave the unnecessary reference to Fox from your articles. The Fox comment encourages political discussion. Is that what you are looking for?

    • DillWeed7

      Seconded.

      Give us facts, relevant context, increase our understanding. Show the advances, explain challenges, acknowledge ‘problems’ explain possible solutions. Avoid pro-renewable bias. Let the facts talk.

      It’s a waste to argue.

      Present facts, relevant context. Doing so will create perspective, understanding, appreciation and support. It will open people up to new possibilities.

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Extremely relevant context, imho, especially if we want to get past the propaganda machines Germany got past and reach its level.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      When one of the largest media agencies in the world puts out completely incorrect and deceiving information about cleantech, I do consider it our duty to try to clear that up. In this case, it was very appropriate to explain that (despite what you might have heard) Germany’s solar leadership comes from solar policy and citizen activism, not good solar resources.

  • http://heinrichderneunte.wordpress.com Heinrich IX

    You might want check out http://www.transparency.eex.com/en/ for additional information regarding power generation in Germany

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. Didn’t realize EEX also had a live site. Interesting that there’s so much discrepancy. I guess for it to be official, it has to come from EEX?

      • Pieter Siegers

        It is awesome to see how solar can provide peak demand during the day and actually help stabilize peak demand.
        I hope to see the conventional demand drop naturally as energy efficiency and storage increases.
        Way to go!

      • jmdesp

        The EEX data is much more precise.

    • Ivor O’Connor

      EEX? I am using Oracle as my browser and it does not support flash. Thankfully. EEX appears to present most of its information via flash so the site is worthless to me. What does EEX say though?

  • Dimitar Mirchev

    Transparency @ EEX says 22,423.5 MW at 1:30, View as chart to see the load for every 15 mins:

    http://www.transparency.eex.com/en/Statutory%20Publication%20Requirements%20of%20the%20Transmission%20System%20Operators/Power%20generation/Actual%20solar%20power%20generation

    Does anyone know where the difference is coming from?

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. Didn’t realize EEX also had a live site. Interesting that there’s so much discrepancy. I guess for it to be official, it has to come from EEX?

      Thomas noted that SMA’s estimate comes based on the generation coming from thousands of SMA solar power systems. He noted that it’s not really clear which estimate is more reliable. But I’ll let him chime in if I missed or misunderstood something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.jardine2 George Jardine

    The Republicans like coal, fracking gas and Alberta crude. Solar power is not on their radar screen.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Interestingly the Tea Party in Georgia (could it get any more right wing?) is pushing for solar.

      And red states with a lot of wind production have sent their governors to Washington to lobby for more federal support for wind.

      The solid “I’m a-gen that thar hippie stuff” wall is crumbling….

    • piwifaquzehy

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

      I agree, but when you overbuild
      generation, transmission typically follows. The US can’t even trade
      electricity between our regional grids yet. Hopefully the Tres Amigas
      project gets built then you’ll be able to transmit sunlight from
      Southern California in the winter to the northeast during daylight
      savings time. The possibilities are endless.

  • Shiggity

    I wonder what would happen if this article was on the cover of the Wall Street Journal.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      ha… one can dream.

  • christian_roselund

    Thanks for the great information. However, under Germany being the solar power leader, I find it more useful to look at electricity produced as a percentage of demand rather than capacity. Under this metric Italy was the leader in 2012: http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-news/current/2013/kw02/solar-pv-meets-56-of-electricity-demand-in-italy-during-2012.html

    The numbers are slightly different as a portion of production, because Germany is a net exporter of electricity and Italy a net importer. However, I still think Italy came out ahead.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, a lot of good ways to look at ‘relative leadership.’ Could have long discussions about the merits of each. Clearly, Italy’s better solar resources help it when it comes to actual electricity produced. But that natural advantage is still a significant component and shouldn’t necessarily be discounted. And, of course, bringing the other sources of electricity into play is a worthy effort!

  • Niels de Wit

    The problem for Germany comes around when solar power production is high in times when electricity demand is low, i.e. during holidays and weekends. Currently, Germany solves this problem with exporting their excess produced power, for example to the Netherlands. However, within a decade, when neighbouring countries will have also a large amount of installed PV capacity, the export of excess electricity will not be an option anymore.

    • Bob_Wallace

      First, you store as much as is reasonable.

      Second, you turn off some of the supply when you exceed “reasonable”. We turn off fossil fuel generation every day when we don’t need as much power as we could produce with all capacity running.

      • Shiggity

        The export of excess electricity will ALWAYS be viable. The EU requires TWs of electricity and they’re vastly expanding their network transmission capabilities as I’m typing this. You also didn’t talk about the complementary nature of wind and solar, which is incredibly important in the EU.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I was responding to this…

          ” within a decade, when neighbouring countries will have also a large amount of installed PV capacity, the export of excess electricity will not be an option anymore”

          We will, at some point, reach “enough” to supply at the moment demand. It’s a long ways off, there’s a lot of coal and nuclear to be shut down, but we’ll get there sometime down the road.

          Unless storage becomes very much cheaper it will make more financial sense to overbuild generation and curtail some capacity at times.

          • Shiggity

            I agree, but when you overbuild generation, transmission typically follows. The US can’t even trade electricity between our regional grids yet. Hopefully the Tres Amigas project gets built then you’ll be able to transmit sunlight from Southern California in the winter to the northeast during daylight savings time. The possibilities are endless.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Tres Amigas is pressing ahead. Just a week or two ago Clovis, NM passed a large bond issue for financing.

            They are currently arranging land leases for the route.

            SoCal to New England is a long way. The NE has a lot of hydro (including Canada) and great offshore wind.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Do you have a Google Alert set for Tres Amigas?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Aye, Cap’n. That I do….

    • mishasibirsk

      When every other objection fails, the “storage problem” becomes the last resort. Storage lags now because, until just a few years ago, production was next to nix. As production peaks begin to bump up against existing demand, governments, corporations and retail consumers (of RE installations) are beginning to turn over the engine of storage research and roll-out. The German govt. has in recent months begun to shift stimulus measures to include a storage component.

      Far from being a problem, storage could become a conduit for funnelling RE capacity into other energy uses than electricity, esp. transport. Whatever the technical difficulties, and the current cost relative to other storage modalities, I expect gas from solar and wind to become a big industry within a decade.

  • jburt56

    Summer meter peg before 2020, probably starting Summer 2018.

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