Photovoltaic solar energy in Germany hits new record level

The BDEW utility lobby group said Friday the production was up 40 percent on the year because of favorable weather conditions and a continuing boom in new solar panel installations.

Germany decided after last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan to phase out nuclear power by 2022. Renewable energies are set to generate 30 percent of the electricity by then, and 80 percent by 2050.

All renewable energy sources – including wind power and biomass plants – last year accounted for about 20 percent of the country’s electricity, but that share appears to be rising as subsidies and investment incentives fuel a boom in new installations.