This year saw new solar output highs across Europe as summer temperature records were smashed.
In the U.K., solar broke the record for weekly output between June 21 and June 28, producing 533 gigawatt-hours of energy. The spike in output led solar to take over from gas as the number-one energy source in the country, said the European PV industry body SolarPower Europe.
In July, solar also reached a new high in Germany, with a record 6.17 terawatt-hours of production, SolarPower Europe said. Further north, Denmark registered 361 hours of sunshine in May. This led to an increase of 33 percent in solar electricity production, smashing previous records.
And in the Netherlands, a sunny July saw 75 percent more solar power generation than in the same month last year. “Across Europe, records came tumbling down,” observed SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson in a press note.
“One of the side effects of this year’s heatwave has been a record amount of solar electricity production,” he said. “In country after country, solar has set impressive new milestones.”
The organization’s policy director, Aurelie Beauvais, said large-scale solar filled in for conventional generation as the 2018 European heatwave brought thermal power plants to a standstill.
“In France and Germany, coal and nuclear power plants had to be powered down as they could no longer use the huge volumes of water needed to cool their power stations, resulting in intermittent supply,” she said.
Solar kept Europe’s power grids stable as the output from these thermal plants flickered, she claimed.
Solar Energy Breaks Records … and more could be broken next year as deployment picks up.
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