A report in The Washington Post recently shed light on this interesting paradigm—Germany, a relatively shady landscape with far less sunlight than the U.S., has become the leader of the solar energy revolution and the European nation isn’t going to let a little thing like cloudy skies get in its way.  According to this report, the end of 2012 saw Germany with “30 gigawatts of solar capacity” while the U.S. is lagging at less than seven gigawatts.


Experts assert that the main reason Germany has leapt to the forefront of the solar revolution is due to its national policies that have paved the way toward a solar-fueled future.  Policies have been designed to allow the government to subsidize the growth of the solar industry.  With government backing, the industry witnessed lower costs and greater incentives to steer a green course toward solar energy systems.


Other reports suggest that while still a solar leader, Germany was only generating three percent of its total electricity consumption through solar power.  While modest, the nation has great plans to increase this percentage so that by 2050, it may be producing all of its electrical energy via solar powered systems.  With so much success under its belt, Germany is demonstrating that great leaps can be made by harnessing the power of the sun to meet energy needs.


Part of Germany’s success also relates to the educating of its people about solar energy and the government’s goals.  Once the population understood that solar power could diminish the wholesale cost of electricity, they were keener to hop on the bandwagon.  Couple this knowledge with lower costs of solar power and installation services and you have a more compliant population willing to embrace green energy systems sooner as opposed to later.


While Germany has plenty of gray days and drizzling weather, it certainly has an appreciation for the sun’s potential.  Yet, Germany hasn’t put all of its eco-friendly eggs in one solar basket.  Its capital, Berlin, is regarded as one of Europe’s “greenest,” literally greenest capital cities.  Beautifully kept and sweeping parks attest to the country’s deliberate commitment to green urban spaces.  This regard for the planet and its relationship to its citizens may, indeed, be behind the country’s solar revolution.


As Germany continues to research new technologies that will drive solar energy further into the future, other nations will watch to see how this northern country expands its use of solar or if it is able to meet its marvelous goals.  Many news organizations are also covering each step of Germany’s solar transformation.  Yet, as each year passes and more German homes and facilities have solar energy systems installed at reasonable rates, they are getting closer to their grand goal.  Moreover, if other countries can witness a northern landscape without much sun manage to harness enough energy to meet a nation’s worth of need, they’re likely to follow in Germany’s footsteps and improve their commitment to solar energy and a more sustainable future as well.