Germany installed about an additional 320 MW of solar power in August, making it the first country in history to surpass the 30 GW mark in PV generation—roughly 24 times of California’s total solar capacity.
German solar installations make up more than the rest of Europe combined, according a press release from Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) experts. This has put Germany firmly at the head of the pack in solar energy generation, making it the fastest in adding new solar power than any other country as well.
According to a recent GTAI report entitled “The Photovoltaic Market in Germany,” the country installed almost 7.5 GW of solar capacity in 2011 alone; that’s over 3 GW more than the total capacity installed in the U.S. for the same year.
A First Solar installation in Sinzheim, Germany. Credit: First Solar
Coming in second is Italy, with approximately half of Germany’s solar capacity in 2011. Both countries depended on a strong Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system – wherein energy consumers subsidize the cost of solar installations, making it cheaper to power homes with solar panels than purchasing power off the grid – to promote solar power development.
“Positive market developments and ongoing changes in the industry underscore Germany’s position as the global frontrunner in solar power,” said Tobias Rothacher of Germany Trade & Invest.