Recent reports of the massive reduction in human traffic during the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted happenings unthinkable just two months ago: cities in India seeing the Himalayas for the first time in decades, for example, and wildlife flourishing in areas previously overrun with people. In Germany, with the skies free of pollution and ample sunlight, the country has produced a record-breaking amount of solar power.
The country’s photovoltaic plants produced over 32,000 megawatts of power on April 20, according to the country’s federal weather service, and Bloomberg reported that Germany now safely predicts it will generate 80 percent of its power through renewable sources by 2038. For comparison, Germany took 40 percent of its power from renewable energy last year.
The massive generation of solar energy was helped by remarkably clear skies over the country in recent days, allowing solar power units to operate at high efficiency. The boom comes at the same time as a global tanking of oil prices, with oil costs reaching a negative price point this week for the first time in history. It also follows steps taken by the German government to phase out coal production over the next 18 years. Monday provided a preview of the country’s energy future — on that day, 78 percent of its power came from renewables.