Saturday, June 02, 2012

Meanwhile, in the Civilized World...

As we quibble over the manufactured outrage that is Solyndra and watch as the Titans of Oil and their anti-tax minions try to roll back progress on renewable energy standards, Germany is proving to the world that solar is a viable alternative to dangerous and expensive energy sources. Hat tip to this diary at Kos for pointing out this story:

German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.

They will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.

On Friday, the output was enough to meet a third of the country's "midday electricity needs", and on Saturday, when offices and factories were closed, it met nearly half. Germany already gets 20% of its power from renewable energy sources. They also have more installed solar power that "the rest of the world combined" and are looking to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2020.

There are issues. It is expensive, adding a few pennies per kilowatt hour with a feed-in tariff that will be in place until parity is reached with fossil fuel energy production. There are also fluctuations in output that need to be dealt with - but both of those things will work themselves out over time, and hey, no Chernobyls!

It can be done. It will be done. The only question now is how far America wants to fall behind in both the race to create jobs AND a healthy, sustainable environment.

Vote accordingly.