Solar energy has no health hazards and low green house emissions. Germany forges ahead with its use. Some Australian states are reducing their commitment to solar and indeed Queensland has recently cancelled a project at Cloncurry approved by the previous government. It prefers coal seam gas although this threatens farming land and water resources.
Germany has less sunshine than Australia, it plans for a future of clean energy which is inevitable for all nations if climate change is to be arrested.
These plans were in place before Fukushima. The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022. It will replace them by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.
The German achievement is detailed in an article from Reuters on May 26 it was reported
German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour – equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity – through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs.
“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. Read on
What lessons can be learned from Germany?
Increasingly we are aware that the cause of inaction is not the lack of science, there is more than enough scientific evidence to merit action. We need analysis of why decision makers in governments in the major resource countries are behaving this way. All the explanations are unpalatable; an ideological strike against the concept of climate change; ignorance on the relevant facts; electoral need; self interest; isolation and individualism?
By contrast the German Government, leading the world in renewable energy development, is fortunate be devoid of natural resources, it has to function on technology, science, hard work and government commitment.
In Australia there is no large functioning solar technology power plant. Doctors for the Environment Australia has been lobbying for solar thermal with storage to replace the most polluting power stations in Australia at Port Augusta. The health of the citizens is harmed by this pollution.
Minister Ferguson has declined to meet us to discuss this and has indicated that solar thermal technology has a problem with intermittent power. Dear Minister, please take a trip to Germany, Spain or the US.
Read about 100% Renewable’s excellent campaign and their lobbying of Parliament