Thursday, October 21, 2010

Solar power creates electric grid challenges in Germany


The accelerating adoption of solar panels in Germany looks like a case of too much of a good thing. The antiquated power grid across the country is having trouble coping with the fluctuations resulting from feed-ins from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines.

As reported in this news story:

Experts have long called for an overhaul of the European power grid to integrate the fluctuating renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Experts forecast between 8 gigawatts and 10 GW of solar power capacity to be installed this year -- the equivalent of roughly 10 large coal-fired power plants. In 2009, only 4 GW were installed.

With an equally fragmented and outdated power grid, the U.S. would do well to overhaul its own infrastructure in preparation for more extensive use of renewable energy. Google's investment in the Atlantic Wind Connection is a step in the right direction.