Add a Member Publication

Article Title: How Many km2 of Solar Panels in Spain and how much battery backup would it take to power Germany
Specialization Codes: 11 - Energy and the Economy, 13 - Energy Security and Geopolitics, 7 - Renewables, 7.4 - Solar, 7.7 - Policy and Regulation, 8 - Energy and the Environment, 8.4 - Other Pollution, 9 - Energy Efficiency,
Authors: Dr Lars Schernikau, Prof William Smith
Publication Date: 2021
Description: To match Germany’s electricity demand (or over 15% of EU’s electricity demand) solely from solar photovoltaic panels located in Spain, about 7% of Spain would have to be covered with solar panels (~35.000 km2). Spain is the best-situated country in Europe for solar power, better in fact than India or (South) East Asia. The required Spanish solar park (PV-Spain) will have a total installed capacity of 2.000 GWp or almost 3x the 2020 installed solar capacity worldwide of 715 GW. In addition, backup storage capacity totaling about 45 TWh would be required. There are currently not enough raw materials available for a battery backup. A 14-day battery storage solution for Germany would exceed the 2020 global battery production by a factor of 4 to 5x. To produce the required batteries for Germany alone (or over 15% of EU’s electricity demand) would require mining, transportation and processing of 0,4-0,8 billion tons of raw materials every year (7 to 13 billion tons for one-time setup), and 6x more for Europe. The raw materials required include lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel, graphite, rare earths & bauxite, coal, and iron ore for aluminum and steel. The 2020 global production of lithium, graphite anodes, cobalt or nickel would not nearly suffice by a multiple factor to produce the batteries for Germany alone.
Ordering Information: SSRN and Researchgate
More Information:

Click here to return to the list of Member Publications.


© 2023 International Association for Energy Economics | Privacy Policy | Return Policy