German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs.
Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.
Erik Kirschbaum, “Germany sets new solar power record, institute says,” Reuters, May 26, 2012, accessed June 24, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSB....