Meanwhile, In Germany…

An amazing thing happened in Adam’s country of residence on Friday and Saturday just past.  The country produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour through the midday hours.  By comparison, in Australia, that is the equivalent of the peak output of 13.75 Hazelwood Power Stations!  Adam states that, “German efficiency wins again!”

Norber Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry told Reuters;

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

The record-breaking amount of solar power shows one of the world’s leading industrial nations was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed. 

Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources. 

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.

Although I am very pleased for Germany and their foresight, at the same time I am sad and disappointed with Australia for being such laggards.  We have so much sunshine, so much space for solar PV and concentrated solar that we should be adopting this proven technology in droves.

However our governments continue with procrastination and drop further and further behind in the renewable energy race.  Even though Bruce Public thinks that roof-top solar is the best thing since sliced bread, our governments cut feed-in tariffs, slash installation incentives, and cancel major solar projects. Unfortunately, those in power are still married to the coal industry, without any indication of a messy divorce on the horizon!

That said, I feel proud that I have invested in the technology, and so have many like me.  Sooner or later there will be a tipping point by the public that will force the powers that be to act, probably sooner with all this scaremongering about the carbon tax!  People in my area are installing solar PV in droves.  In fact every third house in my street now has it installed on the roof.  It certainly is something to behold.


    • says

      Froogs, I thought that the UK would have leaned more towards small wind turbines in your area, because what I remember of Cornwall (Kim is English), it was always blowing a gale near the coast!

      Gav x

  1. Monique says

    I’ve had a lot going on in the last month or so with my Dad very sick, and unfortunately reading every single post of yours is one of the things that I’ve dropped out for a bit. But this one caught my eye.

    I live in a small town with no reticulated gas. So everything is electric. One of the first things I did when I bought the house was to order a 2kW solar system. It got grid connected just before the premium feed in tariff was cut (PHEW!). I have now had 3 NIL due power bills in a row. And remember, no gas. So water, phone/internet and rates are my only bills. I bought the system with my first homebuyers grant. But without that premium feed in tariff I would need a much bigger system to negate my power bills and there’s no way I would have been able to afford that. I hope the government realises what a huge mistake they have made by cutting it and reinstate it ASAP! (And just for the record, the power I take from the grid is renewable too).

    When I went to see my Dad after we had just found out that they can’t cure him this time (he has a brain tumour), he told me how proud he is of what I’ve done with the solar and the garden and the house, and of how much I’ve achieved in such a short time in spite of my own health issues (I haven’t bought vegetables since last winter). The last 2 weekends, I’ve had my neighbours in the backyard with me building more raised beds, connecting up the drip irrigation, digging up the grass (weeds) and laying down gravel as paths between all the beds. Next weekend we will finish off the last of the gravel and fill the beds. The expansion has been planned for a while, but it was taking a long time to coordinate everything. But once they heard how proud Dad is of what I’ve done, they jumped into action to get it all finished in time for him to at least see photos. I bought a small, but pretty powerful rotary hoe to help dig up the grass, but I can also lift it into my garden beds and use it to turn over my soil. By far the task I struggle with most. I tested it on one. It took 2 minutes to turn it all over! I’m so lucky to have great neighbours! In the process, they’ve learnt how to build the beds, and all about how drip irrigation works, and their Mum popped in at one point and raved about my beds and how good they would be for her dodgy knees (they are 2 sleepers high and then have another sleeper laid flat along the long edge to act as a bench seat), so I’m seeing a lot more bed building and drip irrigation in our futures as we slowly convert her garden to raised beds, enabling her to continue growing her own food, rather than having to give it up. People working together to achieve a goal, and everyone getting something out of it. It’s pretty special really :)

    • Monique says

      Thanks Gav and Michael :)

      It sure was a community effort. Dad has loved seeing the photos, and especially loved the video of me turning over the soil with the rotary hoe. He thought I had bought a little hand powered one. Nope! It’s 2 stroke and goes 25cm wide and 20 cm deep in one go! So much for the girl who was afraid of power tools a couple of years ago lol

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