Germanys Largest Solar POWER STATION
Germany Steams ahead with one of the worlds largest photovoltaic solar energy developments. The state of Brandenburg hosts what is currently the worlds second largest solar energy site.
Erected on a disused military training ground that was used by the East Germany forces then plant consists of 560,000 solar modules and was symbolically finished with the help of the state governor, Matthias Platzeck, along with infrastructure and transport minister, Wolfgang Tiefensee.
The solar park is scheduled to come permanently online at the end of 2009 and will have 700.000 modules installed that in total will produce around 53 megawatts of solar electricity. In consumption terms that amount of power will provide enough electricity for 15,000 households.
A single coal fired powered station could produce around 600 megawatts of electricity, That is 10 times the capacity of the solar plant at Brandenburg. But Germany is not the best area in the world to make best used of photovoltaic solar energy, being located in the northern regions of the world is not the best location to capture the sun. On the “bright” side, it is 53 megawatts of needed energy that is clean, producing no waste in production and needing no fuelling. Coal power plants on the other hand pollutes both way, Excavating or mining coal tears at the land, ripping it apart and energy production produces environmentally damaging gasses and waste that has to be disposed off.
Cost of the plant is around 160 million Euros and takes up an area of 200 football fields, A large area by anyone’s standard, At the area was previously a military training ground and covered with unexploded munitions it was left unused and a possible danger to the public. Erecting the solar energy plant has put this disused land to use and removed the explosives. When the plant has reached the end of its life, in many many years to come, the land will be cleared of the solar station and released back to nature with no further development taking place
A second site in North Rhine-Westphalia is the location of the first solar thermal power in the country. The 33 million euro plant is experimental and has a capacity of just 1.5 megawatts. Solar thermal, although not a new idea, is not as technologically developed as solar photovoltaic energy production. Ultimately energy producing capacities of thermal energy should surpass that of solar panel power production and on a commercial scale will take up a lot less land use to produce the same amount of energy.
Being one of the major players in the proposed Desertec project that aims to utilise the large area surrounding the Sahara desert in North Africa to produce renewable energy. Solar thermal energy production will be a large part of this project.
Germany, like many other progressive nations around the world is embracing the switch to renewable energies like solar and wind power and has set itself a target to provide at least 20 percent if its energy needs from clean energy sources.