Reading the comments on the ThinkClimate article about Germany that I linked to yesterday is quite funny.
Some of the commenters are saying things like
yeah, but that was on a sunny and windy day and it was only for the afternoon.
They still use coal for base load power.
I am reminded of some stories I heard from Japanese people who lived in Japan during World War II. The media reported that every battle for every island was a great victory for the Japanese Navy. If you had a map though, you would see that every victory was getting closer and closer to the Japanese home islands.
My response is somewhat more prosaic and snarky.
Since the Wright Brothers airplane only carried one person and flew for a few hundred feet, there’s no point in building an aircraft that can carry 600 people more than 8000 miles… oh wait.
Of course Germany is still using coal and gas plants to provide base load power. It’s what they have available since the are decommissioning nuclear plants as fast as they are building renewable sources.
That 74% of all power for the entire country of Germany, even for an afternoon, would have been impossible less than 5 years ago. Germany, as a nation, has stepped up and said “We will do this.” Two years ago, Germany set a new record of 50% of their day’s energy use from solar alone. That was 20 gigawatts of power purely from solar installations. Now, they are setting new records and they look to continue to do so.
The nay-sayers are saying anything to reduce the impact of the fact that, even for a few hours, 74% of an entire nations electrical demands were provided by totally renewable resources.
It can be done. It IS being done. The rest of the world needs to step up.