Can You Have Too Much Solar Energy?

It’s been a long, dark winter in Germany. In fact, there hasn’t been this little sun since people started tracking such things back in the early 1950s. Easter is around the corner, and the streets of Berlin are still covered in ice and snow. But spring will come, and when the snow finally melts, it will reveal the glossy black sheen of photovoltaic solar panels glinting from the North Sea to the Bavarian Alps.
Solar panels line Germany’s residential rooftops and top its low-slung barns. They sprout in orderly rows along train tracks and cover hills of coal mine tailings in what used to be East Germany. Old Soviet military bases, too polluted to use for anything else, have been turned into solar installations.
Twenty-two percent of Germany’s power is generated with renewables. Solar provides close to a quarter of that. The southern German state of Bavaria, population 12.5 million, has three photovoltaic panels per resident, which adds up to more installed solar capacity than in the entire United States.

Written by Andrew Curry. To read the full article, click here

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Solar Panel Costs Drop, Fueling Rise In Renewable Energy

BERLIN — A dramatic drop in the price of solar power technology last year helped the continued growth of renewable energy, according to a U.N.-backed report published Wednesday.

Global energy-generating capacity from renewable sources rose by 115 gigawatts in 2012, compared with 105 gigawatts the previous year, the report by the Paris-based think tank REN21 showed.

Installed renewable energy capacity rose to over 1,470 gigawatts, equivalent to about 1,500 nuclear reactors. Two thirds of all renewable capacity still comes from hydropower, but wind and solar have been gaining. The worldwide capacity of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunshine into electricity, reached 100 gigawatts last year, the report said.

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here