The summer of 2018 saw record solar power production as new temperature records were set.
In the United Kingdom solar power production in July surpassed that of natural gas, becoming the leading electric power source with 533 GWh produced in only one week. Germany`s record was 6.17 TWh in the same month. Denmark broke it`s record back in the spring, with a 33% increase in solar power production for the month of May. The Netherlands experienced a quite unusual heat wave in July and August with several days of consistent sunshine and temperatures over 30 degrees. This led to a record breaking solar production for the otherwise cloudy country.
„Across Europe, records came tumbling down.” said James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe.
Aurelie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe stated, that solar power made the difference in France and Germany. It kept the grid up and running when coal and nuclear power plants were experiencing difficulties resulting in intermittent supply due to the huge amounts of water needed for cooling these facilities using old technologies.
Two major factors contributed to this years record solar output. The effects of global warming, resulting in changes in weather patterns. In the same time Europe`s solar power producing capacity is the highest it has ever been. Both these factors are expected to grow in the coming years.
According to SolarPower Europe in 2017 the European solar market has experienced a 28.4% growth, resulting in a total capacity of 107 GW. Costs have been consistently coming down the past few decades. The European Commission ending a five year long trading barrier with Asian solar panels is set to bootstrap the process even more. Predictions say Europe`s total installed solar capacity should be able to rise to around 116 GW in 2018 and to around 129 GW the year after. Next year Italy is set to break the 10 GW barrier, while France the double of that.
In conclusion thanks to the amazing progress we have made with this remarkable technology we call Solar and the damage we have done to our planets climate, we can look forward to records being broken continuously in the coming years.
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