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German solar power generation up 50% in 2012

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Germany’s solar power production has risen by more than 50 per cent over the first nine months of 2012, say the nation’s utilities, amid a boom in installations of photovoltaic panels.

As Reuters reported last month, Germany’s solar market continued to grow strongly in the month of September – with nearly 1GW of new solar power generating capacity installed, despite tariff cuts – putting Europe’s biggest economy on track for a new installation record this year.

German utilities’ industry association BDEW said on Monday that the nation’s solar power output rose to 25,000GWh in the January to September period, from 16,500GWh a year earlier, reports AP. Solar’s share in German electricity production rose from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent, while wind power gained slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.0 percent and biomass accounted for almost 6 per cent. Renewables combined accounted for about 26 per cent of Germany’s electricity production over the first nine months on 2012.

Of course, the German government is under pressure to curb the spiralling costs of solar and has so far responded by cutting solar subsidies. Germany’s energy network regulator Bundesnetzagentur has said that due to the strong increase in PV generating capacity so far this year, feed-in tariffs for new solar power installations would be further cut by 2.5 percent a month between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013.

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