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Germany sees surge in new solar power as prices drop

Published
FILE--- Picture taken 24 April 2017 shows cells of a solar power plant in Herdwangen, Germany, (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany added almost 3 gigawatts of new solar power generation in 2018, about 68 percent more than the previous year amid a drop in prices for new systems.

But the country's solar industry association, BSW, said Thursday that Germany needs 7.5 GW of new photovoltaic systems annually to meet long-term energy demand.

Germany plans to switch off its nuclear plants by 2022 and the government is considering a proposal to stop burning coal for electricity by 2038 at the latest in a bid to curb greenhouse emissions.

Europe's biggest economy depends heavily on reliable electricity supplies. Solar contributed about 8 percent of Germany's electricity last year.

At 46 GW, Germany has the fourth largest installed solar capacity behind China (174 GW), the United States (63 GW) and Japan (60 GW).

FILE--- Picture taken 24 April 2017 shows cells of a solar power plant in Herdwangen, Germany, (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)
FILE--- Picture taken 24 April 2017 shows cells of a solar power plant in Herdwangen, Germany, (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)