An interesting post recently, on the Washington Post’s web site, reports that Germany produces five times as much solar power as the entire United States, despite the fact that it is only one twenty-seventh as large as our country, and receives levels of sunshine approximately equal to Alaska’s.
Looking at the photovoltaic solar resource map of the two countries, it’s immediately obvious that about 98% of the continental United States gets more sunlight than anyplace in Germany.
What’s the difference? Why are they so far ahead?
Simple—the German people and government have dedicated themselves to renewable power (much of it transmitted, by the way, through Direct Current systems, similar to Nextek’s technology). They have committed to making the investment now, bearing slightly higher energy costs, to reach a future that is essentially cost free.
During one day in 2012, more than 50% of the entire country’s electrical power needs were met by renewables. Germany is far enough along in the adoption of solar and other renewable power generation systems, that they can envision a day in the not-too-distant future when 100% of their power will be provided without reliance on fossil fuels or without purchasing energy from foreign, and sometimes antagonistic governments.
Think about that last phrase. Imagine our power needs being met without buying oil from Venezuela or the Middle East. Imagine no drilling or fracking. Sure, it won’t happen overnight, but if we refuse to commit to the future, the future will never get here.
The United States has the land and resources needed to free our nation from these dependencies. Do we have the will? We at Nextek hope so.