Germany’s largest solar thermal plant went into operation on Thursday near the country’s Baltic coast.
The 4-hectare array in Greifswald in north-east Germany uses solar energy to heat water that is fed into the city’s district heating network.
A state secretary in the Economy Ministry, Michael Kellner, said that “we need a lot more Greifswalds across the whole country” in order to make Germany more energy independent.
According to the German Solar Industry Association (BSW), there are currently about 50 large solar thermal plants in operation in Germany. Almost 50 more are in planning or under construction, with the average size increasing.
Challenges for such large-scale plants are the lengthy approval procedures and the availability of land. The plants need to be close to the end users, as hot water cannot be transported easily over long distances.
Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH www.dpa.com