Germany produced 22GW of electricity per hour, meeting over 40% of the country’s midday electricity needs. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) estimated this equaled the amount of power generated by 20 nuclear power plants.
Director of IWR, Norbert Allnoch, said, "Currently there is no other country on earth, with solar power plants producing a capacity of over 20,000MW of electricity. Germany came close to the 20GW mark a few times in recent weeks, but this was the first time we made it over."
The electricity demand in Germany in the diurnal cycle follows a bell curve, i.e. little power is needed at night, daytime demand for electricity increases steeply until noon and by evening falls evenly again. Allnoch said, "It is often underestimated, that the sun brings significant power if and when it is needed most."
According to Reuters, Germany has nearly as much solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined, with 4% of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020.
Since the Fukishima disaster last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel overturned policy on nuclear last year, having already decommissioned six nuclear plants with the remaining to be shut down by 2022.
Allnoch said, "This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power. It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants."