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Germany Leads the World in Solar Power

boston.com reports that Germany now has 55% of the world’s photo-Voltaic (PV) power generation.

The German solar power industry has created tens of thousands of jobs including significant exports – so much for the Australian government claims that supporting the dirty coal industry is necessary for the economy! The renewable power industry in Germany employs over 250,000 people.

Australia has much more sun-light than Germany, the same programs of creating solar power could give better results here!

10 comments to Germany Leads the World in Solar Power

  • There’s a reason for that. The German government has fixed the price to be paid to PV power producers for 20 years, so the payback is all but guaranteed. Smart thinking!

  • Peter

    I don’t want to dissappoint you, but the reason for that is: The whole solar power thingy is highly subsidized by the government, so in the end the german taxpayers are paying for this! Without these subsidies the whole solar industry wouldn’t exist. Remember, there was a similar situation during the oil crisis 30 years ago, where nuclear power was highly pushed…

    I only want to say: It’s not good when a technology is pushed to strong by politicians…

  • Drizzt Do'Urden

    There are severl tings that you should keep in mind:
    – solar power is NOT the “greenest” power-source right now, because you need an incredible amount of energy to get Si that pure as it is required
    – as noted above: if you install solar panels and produce more power than required then you get a fixed amount of money per kWh as described in the “Erneuerbare Energiengesetz” (might be translated as “renewable energies act”); this applies also to other forms of renewable energy but not to all ecologically optimal energy-forms which is a little bit courious
    – we have politiancs which want to increase nuclear power and also people who think we should invest more money into the coal industry (I’m quite sure, that I’ve read that there are new coal-plants planned)

    So it’s not that good, as the press in other countries describes it. But I hope we are working towards a better future (which I doubt right now, when I have a look at the current government)!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Drizzt

  • […] to Reuters. Found via Boston.com via Russell Coker. Thanks for the info, […]

  • etbe

    For large-scale generation I believe that wind farms are the best solution. For home-based generation solar PV seems best at the moment.

    The article I cited references the significant German government subsidies. But we should keep in mind that there have been significant advances in the efficiency of PV systems (in terms of Watts per M^2) and the expense (resource use) of manufacture. More wide-spread use will lead to further developments of the technology.

  • In a conventional system, you lose about 7% of the power in transmission, so a solar intertie system right where you need the power has that advantage over running it over the grid.

    What’s going on with the famous Australian solar tower, anyway?

  • matthew

    with regards to solar hws (im a hotwater installer for 15 years)the truth is 9/10 people boost
    there solar hws constantly as they run out otherwise. the electric element heat
    the tank faster than solar can.so there is practicly no solar contribution.
    must solars i put in waste 5lt of water waiting for the heated water to get to
    the taps as they are installed on the roof.this is some of the facts there are
    pleanty more .my ph: 0404818546 matthew

  • etbe

    Matthew: What does “practically no contribution” mean? Note that the energy used in heating water is determined by the temperature change and the mass of the water. So heating 1Kg of water from 10C (probably a common temperature for water from the cold tap) to 35C (tepid) will take more energy than heating it from 35C to 55C (needed to kill bacteria). So if solar power heated the water to 35C is might feel that it wasn’t doing much even though it was providing more than half the energy!

    http://www.ecosmart.com.au/water_guardian.html

    As for wasting water while waiting for the pipes to heat up. The first thing to do is to insulate the pipes. Good insulation will keep the pipes hot for at least 15 minutes (which means that for most of the hot water use the pipes would not have had a chance to get cold). Also the above URL has a solution to the problem of wasted water when the pipes are cold.

  • I find Matthew’s claims dubious. I have had a Solar hot water service for 7 years. It is gas boosted. I turn the booster off for 6 months of the year. For the other 6 months, if I don’t boost the water – it still comes out luke warm. Meaning that some percentage usually 30-99% of the contribution during that 6 months is from the sun. On an annual basis, I am getting 65% of my energy from the sun. Given that my system uses a Titan Stainless tank. It should last for 30+ years and will be well ahead of the 3 or so cheap and nasty mild steal tank systems on energy and greenhouse.

    Now couple my system with a quantum air source heat pump for boosting, and you can power that by renewables – you have a zero emissions year round hot water service that is highly efficient.

    Matt

  • […] Japanese Company Leads World in Solar Power Production – WIN Advisory Group, so is the Germany: Germany Leads the World in Solar Power | etbe – Russell Coker. England is leading in Wind Power: Britain leads the world on wind power – Green Living, […]