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Cleantech
Half of Germany’s Power Can Come from Solar

Germany now can produce more than half of its energy from solar, according to Fraunhofer ISE research institute, which showed that the country produced a record 24.24 GW of solar energy during the first week of June.

Due to better weather in Germany compared to last year, the production of solar power increased 34 percent during the first half of 2014.

Much of Germany’s increase in solar energy has come from ordinary citizens installing photovoltaics onto their homes, rather than from large farms of solar panels. In fact, more than 90 percent of solar panels installed in Germany are on homeowners' roofs.

However, Germany is on track to installing the fewest panels since 2008 after subsidies fell faster than prices, Bloomberg reports. Germany added 818 megawatts of panels in the first five months of the year, a 45 percent drop from a year earlier. If additions continue on this trajectory, Germany will miss its target of 2.5 to 3.5 gigawatts. A German government plan to tax self-consumption of solar power could further accelerate the decline.

A recent report by the Clean Energy Ministerial's Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group found that implementing the right policies and frameworks can achieve large-scale deployment of renewable energy that creates jobs, increases incomes, improves trade balances and contributes to industrial development.

Solar power in particular could soon become as commonplace as roads. An Idaho couple has developed a modular paving system of solar panels that can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, as well as playgrounds, and generate electricity to power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots.

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