THURSDAY 03 MARCH, 2011 |
Germany Achieves 17% Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity
Renewable energy sourced electricity in German homes exceeded 17 percent in 2010 and solar installations
doubled reports Germany Trade & Invest.
Germany’s solar market continues to be the biggest in the world, with new
solar power systems installed in 2010 amounting to a staggering 7 GW and
representing nearly half the world market.
So how was such a feat achieved in a nation with far less solar resources than
Australia? Much of the uptake was and continues to be triggered by a robust solar
feed in tariff
Nearly 20 years ago, the German government implemented the Electricity Feed Act,
which required utility companies to purchase electricity generated from renewable resources such as
home solar power systems
at set rates.
An important factor was the program worked on a "gross" model whereby
all electricity generated by solar arrays attracted the premium rate, rather
than a net model that only pays on surplus electricity exported to the mains
The rates were very generous and Germany's solar revolution began; with the rest
of the world, including Australia, now playing catch-up. Australia's efforts to
become a solar leader have been compromised in the past few years through
situations such as the chopping and changing of solar
and incentives; at times with little or no warning.
Germany's lead has benefited the rest of the world in that its domestic demand
allowed the industry to flourish and refine products such as solar
; driving down costs of equipment in the process.
Germany is no slouch when it comes to wind
either. Germany Trade
says the nation also accounts for Europe’s largest share of installed wind capacity;
pegged at over 27 GW through 2010.
"With record demand every year in Germany and growing markets across Europe, it’s not surprising that many of the world’s biggest solar and wind players are located
here," said Tobias Homann, Senior Manager for Photovoltaics at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.
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