German solar power plants take in record amount of energy
May 30, 2012
German officials recently decided to phase out nuclear power and replace it with clean energy sources, including wind, solar and hydraulic power. The nation recently celebrated a milestone of solar power, as the plants designed to harness the power of the sun produced 22 gigawatts of energy per hour over the weekend. This record-breaking amount of energy is equivalent to the power output of 20 nuclear plants - enough to power one-third of the industrial country on a workday, and half the power needed to run it on a Saturday, according to Reuters.
"Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity," Norbert Alloch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry in Muenster, told Reuters. "Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt mark a few times in recent weeks, but this was the first time we made it over."
Last year, 20 percent of Germany's power was generated through renewable energy sources, The Guardian reports. The nation's government hopes to boost this number to 80 percent by 2050. Other goals of the project known as Energiewende include reducing emissions and lessening dependence on electricity overall.
Germany was able to generate such a large amount of energy due to sunny weather as well as more solar power plants. This successful weekend is all the proof the nation needed to show that harnessing energy from renewable sources is a completely viable option and a more sustainable alternative to burning fossil fuels and creating toxic nuclear waste.