Friday, August 26, 2016
It can be done if there is a will to do it. What can be done? Just about anything.
Getting away from non-renewable, polluting fossil fuels sometimes seems like an impossible goal. Especially here in the United States. But when the paradigm shifts, no matter how slowly, miracles can happen.
One such miracle happened recently in Germany where for a brief time they generated 90 percent of their power from renewables.
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It didn't last for long, but for one day earlier this year renewable power output in Germany reached 90 percent of the country's total electricity demand.
The total output of German solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass reached 55 gigawatts (GW), just short of the 58 GW consumed by every light bulb, washing machine, water heater and personal computer humming away that morning.
Germany ranks second in installed photovoltaic solar capacity, according to the International Energy Agency. Until recently it was the world leader. It's notable that, on solar, Germany is outpacing the United States, a country four times as populous. What's more remarkable is that Germany sees about as much sunshine as Alaska.
Germany is also the fourth-largest economy on the planet and has more economic output than any U.S. state. The peak in renewable output shows that wind and solar can keep pace with the demands of an economic powerhouse.