Workers stack finished solar energy panels at the Solarworld plant on August 14, 2013 in Freiberg, Germany. Credit: Getty Images.
Continuing its unrelenting march toward a renewable-powered future, Germany now can produce from solar. The official word of this milestone comes from the Fraunhofer ISE research institute, which showed that the country produced a record 24.24 GW of solar energy during the first week of June. Thanks to better weather in Germany compared to last year, the production of solar power has increased 34 percent in the first part of 2014.
Germany's expansion of solar energy hasn't come from enormous farms of solar panels, but rather citizens installing photovoltaics onto their own homes. More than 90 percent of solar panels installed in Germany are on homeowner's roofs.
It's not all sunshine, though. Despite this record, that the world's biggest solar market might install the least new capacity that it has since 2008, partially because of shrinking solar subsidies. So growth continues, but slowly.
Wondering how the U.S. compares? We currently get 0.2 percent of our energy from solar. Italy is in second place behind the Germans.