Germany has five times as much solar power as the U.S. despite Alaska levels of sun

There are 1 comment on the The Washington Post story from Feb 8, 2013, titled Germany has five times as much solar power as the U.S. despite Alaska levels of sun. In it, The Washington Post reports that:

This isn't terribly newsy, but it's still quite striking: Slate's Will Oremus passes along this neat map from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory: A map of the relative direct solar-energy availability in the United States, Spain, and Germany.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Washington Post.


Twentynine Palms, CA

#1 Feb 9, 2013
A response to the article map from AH_HA:

"Ok, then you read the fine print at the top of that "map". All the 'map' is intended to do is show the relative difference in the amount of sunny days a given region has compared to other regions.....Never mind that the sun does not get above the horizon for weeks at a time in the winter and then for months at a time in the spring and fall only gets a few degrees above the horizon. When the sun is not well above the horizon solar cells just do not work. And well, to be frank... you really canít count those months as having any solar potential at all."

Spoken like someone who has NO experience with solar, either PV or hot water. First Solar and nano solar are companies that are using alternative types of solar collection technology that are less efficient than the solar chrystalline cell technology, but are better at capturing low light solar energy using Cd-Te or CIGS technology. Nano solar has a factory in Germany to assemble its roll to roll cell technology into panels. What IS true, if you want a 36KWh/day solar PV system in Arizona, it will take about 30 panels. For a 36KWh/day system in New York would take about 60 panels to do the same job. Alaska, around 85 to 90 panels mounted almost vertically. More cost effective in Arizona, less cost effective in Alaska.

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