UK, Germany beat solar records as community power projects multiply

Intro

As EU Sustainable Energy Week begins, the UK and Germany have demonstrated what can be achieved, announcing they have both broken records for generating solar electricity this month. Germany generated over half its electricity demand from solar for the first time ever on 9 June, Meanwhile, basking in sunny summer weather during the longest days of the year, the UK nearly doubled its 2013 peak solar power output over the solstice weekend. France, Italy, Denmark and other countries are also believed to have generated record amounts of solar energy in June. This has been helped by community power projects that have sprung up across Europe. In the UK, the village that became synonymous with the country’s fight against fracking is now at the forefront of the drive towards community-owned, clean energy systems, launching a project aimed at building enough solar power to match the electricity needs of every home in Balcombe. In Germany, where over 50% of renewable projects are community-owned, a similar initiative in the northern state of Schleswig Holstein has brought together around three hundred local residents to create a citizens’ wind park. Meanwhile in Nyíregyháza, northeast Hungary, a community of 500 households are sharing their skills and experience to build new energy-efficient homes.

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MT@Greenhouse_PR  Positive story of the day – UK and Germany break #solar power records, providing approx 7.8% of UK #electricity: http://ow.ly/ynt7p

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Key Quotes

  • “Britain has virtually doubled its capacity in the last year, with 80,000 more installations, including several thousand larger scale commercial ones. There are now 530,000 installations in the UK, of which 510,000 are domestic small scale ones. Last weekend we estimate they generated about 8% of daytime electricity in total. We think that this is likely to double again within a year. There is nothing to stop it getting to 30-40% of UK electricity at this time of year. – Ray Noble, consultant at the UK National Solar Centre.
  • “We have put ourselves among the world leaders on solar and this ambitious strategy will place us right at the cutting edge. There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations and we must seize the opportunity this offers to boost our economy as part of our long term economic plan. Solar not only benefits the environment, it will see British job creation and deliver the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.” –  UK energy minister Greg Barker

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