Germany’s first solar energy plant became operational on July 12, 1983. It was located on the North Sea island of Pellworm, one of the sunniest spots in the country. Covering an area greater than two soccer fields, Pellworm was the largest solar plant in Europe at the time. It was financed by AEG Telefunken, the government of the Federal Republic, and the European Community. Pellworm was part of a program organized by the European Community, which had allotted 30 million dollars for the construction of 15 solar energy plants. Germans developed solar technology primarily with an eye toward exporting it, rather than using it internally, since the country's climate was not considered sunny enough to make wide-spread implementation feasible. Following modernization and the addition of wind turbines, the plant now generates renewable energy as a hybrid power plant.

Solar Energy Plant on the North Sea Island of Pellworm (1983)


Source: Original caption: A facility for harnessing the sun’s energy goes into operation on the North Sea island of Pellworm. Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Fotodienst 4 – 1983/no. 1622. Photo: IN-Press/dpa.

Courtesy of the German Information Center