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(41,780 posts)
Mon Aug 19, 2013, 05:10 PM Aug 2013

Germany Breaks Monthly Solar Generation Record, ~6.5 Times More Than US Best


I live in Poland, which (for the geographically indifferent) is right next to Germany. Actually, the city where I live, Wrocław, was once part of Germany, and it’s now just a couple hours to the German border from here. From living in this city for 5 years, I can tell you one thing with great emphasis: this is one super-grey area of the world. Actually, the weather at the moment reminds me of winter weather in Florida (my home state). I was looking at a lot of solar irradiation maps and stats just yesterday, and I happened to notice that Florida gets about twice as much average sunshine per day as Wrocław — I’m sure it’s the same across Germany. So, really, I am stunned when I think about how much solar power the country is producing relative to other countries (especially relative to the humungous and sunny USA).

It was just reported the other day that Germany has broken its monthly solar power generation record yet again. In July, the super-grey country rose above 5.1 TWh of electricity from solar panel systems. That’s according to the latest data from the EEX Transparency Platform.

That actually beats the 5 TWh of electricity from wind turbines that the country logged in January (it’s also a wind power leader, in case you weren’t aware).

More emphatically, that crushes the 0.764 TWh of electricity solar PV and solar thermal systems produced in the US in May 2013 (the latest month for which we have data) as well as the 0.522 TWh produced in the US in July 2012.


But we have been told that solar is a "failure" in Germany.

Apparently not

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Germany Breaks Monthly Solar Generation Record, ~6.5 Times More Than US Best (Original Post) jpak Aug 2013 OP
electricity costs ??? in Germany quadrature Aug 2013 #1
Telling The Truth About Germany’s Clean Energy Rush kristopher Aug 2013 #2


(2,049 posts)
1. electricity costs ??? in Germany
Mon Aug 19, 2013, 08:06 PM
Aug 2013

please be as specific as you can.

if the pricing and compensation scheme
is nutty enough, even a company
like Solyndra makes sense.

perhaps someone in the know
could sum up... what the solar PV
pricing-deal is in Germany

electricity from solar, wind, might be nice,
but not at the expense of
25 to 50 percent unemployment.
a little OT, but how much electricity
can a Spaniard produce on a stationary bicycle?


(29,798 posts)
2. Telling The Truth About Germany’s Clean Energy Rush
Mon Aug 19, 2013, 08:39 PM
Aug 2013
Telling The Truth About Germany’s Clean Energy Rush
by Rocky Mountain Institute

I recently wrote about—and debunked—the renewables “disinformation campaign” that spreads misinformed and falsely negative stories about the growth of renewable energy. A special focus of such disinformation has been reportage on Germany’s efficiency-and-renewables revolution. The impressive success so far of the German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is an important existence proof for the world, because Germany is cloudy, high-latitude, heavily industrialized, highly competitive (it rivals America’s merchandise exports with one-fourth its population), and the world’s fourth-biggest economy.

Perhaps because German success would therefore belie the supposed necessity of fossil-fuel and nuclear energy, some media regularly report the Energiewende’s failure or supposed impossibility. As Ihighlighted, Germany’s renewables revolution is in fact highly successful and strong as ever, but that hasn’t stopped three myths from gaining traction in the media: 1) Germany’s supposed turn back to coal, 2) how renewables undermine grid reliability, and 3) how renewables subsidies are cratering the German economy. None of those are true, and here’s why.

Myth #1: Germany’s Turn Back To Coal

An efficient new German coal plant begun in 2006, with fast ramp rates to complement variable renewables, was widely but wrongly heralded on its commissioning in 2012 (Europe’s only new coal plant that year) as signaling Germany’s post-Fukushima turn back to coal—not mentioning that it replaced a larger amount of dirtier and far less efficient coal capacity that was shut down. Moreover, replacing old 35-to-38-percent-efficient coal units with modern 46-percent-efficient ones, like some of the 5.3 GWlikely to come online this year, would save a fifth of their coal even if net capacity didn’t change. And though capacity may fluctuate for a few years, the German Energy Agency expects 11.3 GW of coal capacity to be added and 18.5 GW closed by 2020—a net decrease of at least 7.2 GW.


Myth #3: Renewables Subsidies Are Cratering The Germany Economy

Perhaps most confusing is Germany’s lively debate about the surcharge that utility customers pay to finance the feed-in tariff (“FIT”)—a fixed 20-year power purchase contract offered to anyone installing new renewable generators, whether solar, wind, biomass-fueled, or other kinds. (Since 2012, you can instead choose market-based payments, as half of renewable producers and four-fifths of windpower operators do, and since autumn 2012, new solar systems over 10 megawatts are no longer eligible for FITs). The FIT declines as renewables’ growth drives down their prices; rooftop solar’s FIT is falling 1.8 percent every month. But partly because prices are falling, solar sales are far outpacing forecasts, raising the surcharge. USA Today columnist Sumi Somaskanda recently wrote: “German consumers are waking up to the costs of going green: As of Jan. 1, they are paying 11 percent more for electricity than they did last year thanks to government plans to replace nuclear plants with wind and solar power that requires significant and constant public money to be made cost effective.” But as I wrote in April, the truth is quite different.

Germany’s renewables surcharge is artificially inflated by hefty and rising industry exemptions ...


Energy giants pull plug on coal and nuclear
Published: 18 Aug 2013 09:42

Ever since Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a phase-out of nuclear energy over the next decade and pledged to generate as much as 80 percent of the country's electricity from renewables by 2050, big question marks have been hanging over the future of coal and gas-fired plants in Germany.


But the turnaround is depriving utilities, including market leaders RWE and E.ON, of massive profits from their atomic plants and turning their gas and coal-fired stations into loss-makers as they are sidelined by rival renewable sources of energy.

Last week, the two biggest players in the German sector unveiled steep drops in profits, and "many of our plants are operating at a loss," complained RWE's finance chief Bernhard Günther.

Indeed, RWE announced that it would shut down a number of plants --representing combined capacity of 4,300 megawatts -- in both Germany and the Netherlands. And more could follow, Günther warned....

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