Germany Hits World Record in Solar Production! 50% of Electricity the Last Weekend in May

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Solar energy hit a record in Germany over the weekend, supplying almost 50% of its midday electricity on Friday and Saturday, reports Reuters.

The 22 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy per hour – a world record – is the equivalent produced by 20 nuclear plants.

“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity,” Norbort Allnoch, Director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry,  told Reuters. “Germany came close to the 20 GW mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over.”

A year ago, solar supplied 14 GW per hour. Last year, a record-breaking 7.5 GW was installed and this year, 1.8 GW has been added in just the first quarter. Germany now has 26 GW of solar capacity.

Germany consistently gets 4% of its electricity from solar and about 20% from renewable energy. Its solar capacity is almost the amount of all the world combined. The country is on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction target of 35% below 1990 levels by 2020.

To do that, the country is spending $263 billion – about 8% of GDP in 2011 – to transform its energy sources, upgrade and add some 2800 miles of transmission lines, and modernize power stations to integrate fluctuating supplies of solar and wind.

“The energy transformation is the biggest modernization and infrastructure project in the coming decade. Whether other countries follow our model will depend on whether we succeed,” said Philipp Roesler, Germany’s Economy Minister in a televised speech.

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