Top 10 Countries That Use Solar Energy The Most

Tim Hamlin
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China – 174 Gigawatts

About 40 years ago, China started an initiative to switch from burning coal to generate energy to burning renewable energy, primarily hydro and solar power. This initiative is estimated to cost more than 100 billion dollars, but has had a very beneficial impact on air quality.

This solar power revolution is estimated to have bought millions of lives back. Air pollution is still a big problem in China, but since adding solar and other renewable energy power plants, it has reduced the rate of increase in toxic gas emissions from 2005 to 2015 by approximately 30 percent.

The United States – Over 50 Gigawatts

The United States has long been a leader in solar power and currently has over 50 gigawatts of solar energy capacity between utility scale and small systems. If you live in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas, you can probably see the more than 10,000 solar power systems in operation. This cost-efficiency helped solar power become the second-largest source of energy in the United States in 2013.

Moreover, the cost of solar energy continues to drop, while the efficiency of solar cells is increasing. This makes solar energy an option in more and more places throughout the country, including places you may not expect. Based on the current trends, solar energy is a technology that will continue to grow and soon make a positive impact on communities in America and around the globe.

Germany: 41.3 Gigawatts

In 2014, Germany was becoming the country that has the most solar panels, which was right behind the USA and Japan. With this, it also gained the title of having the most electric power. It has almost 41.3 Gigawatts of solar installation.

The energy from the sun helps Germany save billions of dollars in order to power their homes and even their transportation. Because energy from the sun is free, Germany reduces its dependency on fossil fuels, which means reducing its pollution.

Japan – 50 Gigawatts

Japan has been at the forefront of solar energy use for the last 50 years and is very friendly to solar. A recent change in Japanese law now allows buildings to cover any unused portions of their property with solar panels to create solar fields.

Japan has invested massively in solar power, and a lot of that investment is starting to pay off.

In 2010, Japan generated 50 gigawatts of solar electricity, which accounts for around 3 percent of the country’s total electricity output.

India – 31.696 Gigawatts

The country that uses the most solar power per capita is India. In fact, the amount of solar energy that India uses is 31.696 gigawatts. That may sound like a lot and it is, but 1 gigawatt could power over 871,000 US homes! In 2015, India set another world record by building the world’s largest solar plant in Tamil Nadu. The plant has an output of 648 MW. Tamil Nadu became the first state to get 100 percent of its power from solar energy.

India’s high standard of living and booming economy put a lot of pressure on its environment. Pollution from its textile industry and transportation system increases India’s ecological footprint and solar energy is a great alternative.

Italy – 21 Gigawatts

More than any other country.

Italy is a country on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe. It has a population of about 60 million people, making it the sixth largest country in the world.

Italy also uses a lot of solar power. According to the International Energy Agency, Italy is among the top five countries in the world for solar energy consumption, using about 21 gigawatts (21 billion watts). Italy has the most solar power capacity per capita in the world.

Italy gets about 3,000 hours of sunlight each year, which provides plenty of renewable solar power. Another reason Italy uses so much solar power is because solar power costs have decreased in recent years.

When solar power is used as an energy source, there is little or no air pollution and carbon emissions (as long as you don’t count what it takes to build and maintain the solar panels, which is absent in most countries with lots of solar panels, like Germany).

United Kingdom – 13 Gigawatts

The United Kingdom, with a population of 64.1 million, has installed 13 gigawatts of solar energy. That’s the equivalent of generating about 1.7 million megawatts of electricity from solar panels, which is more than enough to provide power for 4.2 million homes. The United Kingdom is in close competition with Germany, Australia and Japan for the number one solar energy generating country. In the last three years, the United Kingdom has seen a streak of 7 consecutive quarters of positive percentage growth when it comes to solar energy. These numbers prove that the country is making huge strides in generating energy from the sun and moving away from using fossil fuels.

Australia – 12.959GW

If you think of Australia as a country of scorching heat and droughts, you’d be wrong. It is one of the countries in the world that uses solar energy the most. The government gives large subsidies to people to install solar panels, get home energy conservation audits, and community solar projects in Australia. This has led to creation of a lot of private solar power plants.

Australia is one of the biggest coal producers in the world. But since the electricity generated from coal plants contains a lot of greenhouse gases, the government is focusing a lot in creating wind and solar plants and reducing coal production.

Currently, just 1% of the total electricity generated in Australia comes from coal. The current government has pledged to decrease this percentage significantly in the next few years.

France – 12.8 Gigawatts

France has been a leading country when it comes to solar panel technology. In 2011, France generated 38.2 Terawatt hours of solar energy which was about 6.5 percent of the total of the countries� energy needs. In fact, France has more solar panel capacity than most other leading countries. It generates about 12.8 Gigawatts and has installed almost 5,000 Megawatts since 2008. In 2013, France showed a breakthrough in solar technology after they launched a satellite propelled by nuclear energy.

France uses sun light to grow many of their crops. The country is also heavily invested in solar energy technology due to the fact that its one of the countries in the world that uses the most amount of energy.

Turkey – Over 5 Gigawatts

Turkey leads the list of nations with the most solar energy. The country continues to add solar technology to their existing infrastructure. Along with that, they have added new utility companies and electric poles that work for solar.

The country has completed the largest solar park in Europe at 1GW. It is surrounded by a 6 million square foot photovoltaic roof.

The second largest solar farm is also in Turkey. It is located in Adiyaman. Kurdish and Turkish people live in the area and work together to make the farm successful.

Germany has taken over the most solar use from Turkey.

Final Thoughts

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