The solar revolution is certainly bearing fruit in Italy, with 7.3% of the nation’s electricity supplied by solar power systems during the first 7 months of this year.
According to PV magazine and based on data from Italian grid operator TERNA, solar panel systems in the country generated 13,810 GWh of electricity between January and the end of July this year, an almost 20% increase compared to the same period in 2012.
According to Wikipedia, Italy had an installed capacity of solar PV approaching 17 GW by the end of 2012 and as a result, some of its gas turbine based power plants are operating at half their capacity during daylight hours.
TERNA also reports energy efficiency is making its mark in Italy; with the amount of electricity consumed during July this year reaching 29.9 billion kWh, 3.3% less compared to July 2012.
Solar PV has recently broken records elsewhere in Europe too. CleanTechnica reports Germany has yet again broken its monthly solar power generation record; with 5.1 terrawatt hours of electricity generated by the country’s solar panel systems during July. This represents more than 6.5 times the best month in the USA and far exceeds any Australian result.
While Germany has around 3.5 times the population of Australia, its solar resources are much less than our sunburnt country. However, what it lacks in sunlight, it makes up for in capacity. Germany is the world’s solar PV stronghold, with an installed capacity of 34.186 gigawatts (GW) at the end of June 2013
While Australia’s solar revolution has seen a stunning rate of PV uptake and over 1 million households have now installed solar panels; if all rooftops suited to production in this nation were fully utilised, we would lead the world in solar electricity generation – and without having to use a single additional acre of land.