Germany has always been a world leader in both the production and use of solar panels. Known as the world’s pre-eminent engineers, the German industrial base has the knack of designing and creating some of the best engineered products in the world.
The country has also been a leader in the uptake of solar power, despite not being the sunniest place in the world. The recent announcement that the government will completely scrap nuclear power stations by 2022, is another step forward for renewable energy and the humble solar panel.
While much of the difference will be made up of wind power, the uptake of solar is set to increase too. Already one of the biggest proponents of solar PV power generations, Germany is hopefully setting a precedent by moving away from what is an unpopular fuel.
The German Chancellor, Mrs. Merkel said that in its “fundamental” rethink of policy, Germany could set an example for other countries.
“We believe we as a country can be a trailblazer for a new age of renewable energy sources,” the German chancellor was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
“We can be the first major industrialized country that achieves the transition to renewable energy with all the opportunities – for exports, development, technology, jobs – it carries with it.”
While I will always promote solar power, any renewable energy is a good energy. So the country’s move from nuclear to renewable has to be applauded. Once a country as respected as Germany makes it work, other countries are sure to follow.
Other European countries can look at the German example and how popular it will be with the people, and want a piece of that political pie. Spain is another large user of solar panels, and the next logical step in the chain. While not as respected on the world stage as Germany, it will be another practical example of a world where nuclear power is in decline.
With Britain having announced they were planning to build more nuclear power stations, it would be nice to think they would reconsider that move in the light of the German change.
With the events in Fukushima still ringing loudly in our ears, governments of the world must be looking at the technology with a different set of eyes. It is my sincere hope that they abandon it in favor of renewable options in the future.
On our own shores, it will be a while before we even acknowledge what is going on in the rest of the world, and only then will things be looked at again. We have one of the best climates for solar power in the world, and some of the best manufacturers of solar panels. It would be a shame not to make the best of both.