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Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Thomas Gerke


22.24 GW of PV-Solar Output in Germany — New Record!

May 25th, 2012 by  

Thursday, PV-Solar broke through the 20 GW barrier for the first time, but before I managed to write about that, it’s old news already. On Friday, output from PV-Solar climped up to a staggering 22,240 MW as Germany experiences a week of wonderful summer weather.


To start, I will take a short look at Thursday’s record, which was historic to say the least. At about 12.45am, solar peaked at 20,097 MW. Throughout the day, it produced about 167 GWh of electricity.

That sure sounds like a lot, and it is a lot, especially considering that Germany consumes 1,200-1,400 GWh during a typical day in May.

So, 167 GWh, about 12% of the total electricity consumption, is coming from PV-Solar in a highly industrialized country. I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like cool news.

I’ll write more on Friday’s and coming records later, but wanted to get this news out asap.

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About the Author

is a close observer of the scientific, political and economic energy debate in Germany and around the globe. Inspired by the life's work of the renewable energy advocate Hermann Scheer, Thomas focuses on spreading information that showcase the possibilities & opportunities of a 100% renewable energy system. Though technology is key for this energy shift, he also looks at the socio-economic benefits and the political, as well as structural barriers.

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  • Kate

    What happen to freedom of speech? Commits have been removed?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Trolls smitten.

      Second visit by this twerp. Posting under multiple names. Posting garbage.

      BTW, you might want to read up on freedom of speech.

  • Luke

    that not base load power.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Base load is an old concept which is being discarded as we move away from “always on” generation.

      • Barry

        Australian made grid inverter are blowing up in smoke, your claims that Australian made grid inverter haven’t blown up is a lie.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Proof please.

      • Warren Gl

        How could the group claim cheap poor-quality inverters when the CEC approved the inverter was tested to meet Australian standards. Boy-o-Boy what a claim made now against CEC didn’t do testing even a bigger lie.
        So bob what you have to say about the CEC good quality approved inverters that are blowing up, which are made to world best standards.

    • Interesting you should mention base load power. From July South Australia will no longer have any base load power plants. All electricity capacity will either be peak, load following or intermittent.

      • Luke

        No your wrong solar power grid inverter are blowing up, because of the high voltage
        from other grid inverters in the street that cause power surges, that why I say it’s doesn’t work. If you would read the following like it prove the point.


        • If you read Adelaidenow you’ll know that of the state’s coal plants are being closed down in July. One will be shut down permanently and the other will only be used six months a year. That means South Australia will have no base load generating capacity.

    • Hanson

      Problem with solar power in Australia it doesn’t work if your house is not facing north. I had solar panels installed on my roof but it only generated about 2kw a day total. Problem with trees which can not be cut down in the street & the next door house shading the solar panels. I was con by solar power company which said it would generate all my power needs & pay back time would be 2 years, but at this 2kw a day look like pay back time would be over 1000 years.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Any chance you can take them off your roof and install them on a rack in your back yard? Somewhere that gets decent sunshine.

        (Mine are racked in my yard because it’s easier to get to them for snow removal.)

        If not, then I’d sell the system to someone who can use it. No sense having money tied up in something that doesn’t work.

        Do you have any community owned solar farms in your area? I think most of them are set up so that you own a certain number of panels installed in a large field and you get a share of the power that’s fed in to the grid based on how many panels you own.

        It’s great way for people that have a poor solar site or for some other reason can’t install panels.

  • anderlan

    I say Germany has the right approach. Build renewables out and prioritize them over fossil carbon energy. As they build out, the money on the table for grid-level storage will just keep rising, and profit will drive innovation. Don’t worry about chicken and egg. If you build it, they will come.

    • Luke

      no solar power will danage the grid

      • Bob_Wallace

        Waiting for your proof….

        • Bill

          I have proof, even Australian made grid inverter blowing up.
          There are warehouses full of damage grid inverters including solar panels that have stop working, beyond repair, the manufacture will not honour warranty, be cause of power surges from other grid inverters, beside that the installer has gone broke and change name not to honour warranty .

          Mike the legal man has raised issue regarding legal issue surrounding solar grid connected panels and inverter. Given that they are blowing up you can be sued if your blown grid inverter take out the next doors TV, wash machine and so on.


          • Bob_Wallace

            Try reading the article again. You misunderstand what it says.

            Faulty inverters. Breaking down. Need to be replaced with higher quality equipment.

            Think about it for a moment. There are now millions of solar arrays on rooftops around the world and things are, in general, working fine. If there was a real problem we would have never installed as much solar as we have.

          • Jame

            Are we talking about the new pink bats grid connected solar system which are blowing up, this is a real concern when talk back radio in Sydney starts on it, there is no stopping it. Media in SA WA & VIC are not given up they will bring grid solar power down.

      • Well, Germany’s grid must be ripped to shreds then. They’re awfully good at covering that up, aren’t they? The country is full of Germans pretending their grid still works.

        • Tom Wills

          No the Germans have said that grid solar power has damage their grid. if you would read Germany’s newspapers know more.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Bring proof Tom.

            The only thing I’ve heard out of Germany is that fossil fuel plants are crapping their plants because solar is hurting their business.

            That, and electricity prices are dropping when the Sun is shining.

      • Luke, get real.

  • 22 gig is how much electricity the whole of Australia was using at noon yesterday. Germany’s PV capacity is enough to power our entire continent. Or at least it is on sunny weekends.

    • Ross

      Just think about how much untapped solar there is down there in Australia.

      • Luke

        in austraila solar power is not working

        • Let me check. No, it’s working. I think it’s night time you’re thinking of.

          • Luke

            In SA grid inverter are not working, so how could you claim that it is?


          • Bob_Wallace

            Luke – when you install solar panels on your roof they produce DC voltage. 12, 24, 48, or 96vdc depending on how you wire them.

            That DC voltage needs to be converted to grid voltage AC. 120vac in the US, 240vac in other places.

            There’s a piece of equipment called an inverter which changes DC to AC, matches the grid voltage, and locks into the grid frequency.

            Some people in AU have apparently purchased low quality inverters and some of those inverters are failing. That’s what your link says….

            “Residents are reporting faulty systems, requiring replacement or upgrading – and costing them hundreds of dollars in lost solar power generation.

            Consumers SA said it is receiving 20 calls a day from disgruntled solar system owners who are reporting problems with their inverters – which convert direct current solar energy into alternate current energy for use in the house and feed-in to the electricity grid.

            The group said the use of cheap poor-quality inverters – with components from countries such as China – can save up to $1000 on a standard solar system.”

            The AU grid is not failing. It is not being damaged by solar. Some individual systems are having problems.

            It’s like buying a good car with crappy tires. Your car won’t go anywhere because the tires are flat.

            That does not bring continental transportation to a screeching halt.

            BTW, there are also some first rate inverters being made in China. It’s a problem of a bad company, not a bad country.

          • Kim

            If solar power doesn’t work at night so were are you robbing your power from, dark matter? come on just admit that you get your power out of a coal generator and that how it works. You can not get base load from solar power cell.

          • Kim, are you aware of anyone in the entire world who has ever installed a solar PV system and then been disapointed when they discovered it didn’t work at night?

          • Kim, just in case you actually want to know where South Australia gets its electricity from and you’re not just an orc or a kobold or whatever the term is, the breakdown for the March quarter is as follows: Gas 39.5%, Wind 31%, Coal 26%, Solar 3.5%.

    • 😀

  • surfingoz

    12.45am? It’s sunnier than i thought in Germany!

  • Dcard88

    I just checked, and based on .1% of land available for PV, the USA has a 5000 GW potential. I think we are at 7 GW now?

    We have a ways to go. Or a rather large potential, depending on how one looks at it.

  • Dcard88

    So they should get even more in 3 or 4 weeks? Over 23 GW and 180+ GWh on a sunny day in 3 or 4 weeks (late June) ?

    • ThomasGerke

      That’s very likly. Of course it depends on the weather abit. Having an almost cloud-free day in Germany with 10-14h of sunshine is not that common.

      But PV-Capacity is increasing at the same time. In the first Quarter it increased by about 1.8 GW . That’s the US total of 2011. 😉

      More important than the record is the fact that throughout May peaked usually at about 16 GW… jumping up to 18-19 GW several times… and going as low as 8-10 GW for a few days. Nothing below that.

      • ” But PV-Capacity is increasing at the same time. In the first Quarter it increased by about 1.8 GW . That’s the US total of 2011. 😉 ”

        Wow, that’s a bit of a shocker in context, isn’t it?

  • Anne

    Does anybody have a link to where the top graph in the article comes from

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