Germany keeps setting renewable energy records

Germany’s done it again—broken renewable power generation records. In July the country logged 5.1 terawatt hours of solar power, up from its previous record of 5 terawatts of wind power logged in January. Many are pointing to the fact that Germany is setting these solar records despite its relative lack of sunshine. All in all, Germany remains far and away the renewable energy leader and model for the rest of the world. It has installed 400 megawatts of solar power per million people, compared to about 25 megawatts per million in the U.S.

The government has subsidized solar power to the tune of over 100 billion euro, a massive amount of money. But the country is getting what it wants—a diversified renewable energy mix that includes the shutting down of its nuclear power industry.

ThinkProgress reported the figures. What was most interesting in the story was the quote from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) chairman Jon Wellinghoff:

“it [solar power installations] could double every two years. But at its present growth rate solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player. Everybody’s roof is out there.”

Wellinghoff believes the market for rooftop solar is bigger than anticipated. That’s good news for companies like First Solar, Sunpower and SolarCity. And if we can get soft cost related to marketing and permitting down further, I think we could see a massive disruption to utilities and the overall energy industry.

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Adam Lesser

Cleantech Curator Gigaom Research

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