The world’s reliance on environmentally-unfriendly fuels may not have come to an end despite the urgent calls of environmentalists, but the renewable energy production and usage are increasing – as is proven by the likes of these 8 countries that produce the most solar energy in the world.
Solar energy is one of the most abundant sources available today; it is easily one of the cleanest and safest to use, there being hardly any dangers that come with harvesting and generating it. But while the supply remains abundant, harvesting it remains to be a mostly logistical challenge. For one, mass producing solar energy requires a lot of space. The other major challenge to solar energy production for mass usage is its cost. Unlike fossil fuels and non-renewable energy sources, photovoltaic cells are still pretty expensive.
The good news is, despite these production challenges, some governments and private companies took bigger leaps than others, making large-scale solar energy production possible.
The figures we presented here are from the data of the International Energy Agency’s annual report, “Trends 2015 in Photovoltaic Applications”, the most complete and most recent data available. The countries are ranked according to their total energy capacity, measured in Megawatts. It does not show the type or storage method.
After reading this and how solar energy is continuously increasing in value – both financial and otherwise – you may want to read on the five solar stocks to own after climate deal and tax credit.
The first commercial solar power plant in Australia has only been opened in 2011 and had a 1-megawatt capacity. Three years on, Australia grew its solar power capacity thanks to a massive government subsidy program, and it has elevated their status as one of the biggest solar power producers in the world.
There is nothing surprising about Spain being on the top list of the 8 countries that produce the most solar energy in the world. Spain, after all, receives the longest hours of sunshine in all of the countries in Europe. Their main product is concentrated solar power.
France is still one of the 8 countries that produce the most solar energy in the world, with over 5,678-megawatt generation capacity by the end of 2014. This production experienced a significant reduction in the past due to political reasons.
5. United States
The United States has consistently made it to the list of top 8 countries that produce the most solar energy in the world. The country is expected to top all of its solar power capacity records in recent years by the end of 2016 at the addition of newer, bigger solar thermal plants
Despite being relatively smaller than other countries on this list, Italy is one of the biggest producers of solar power in the world. The big leap in production between the years 2009 and 2013 made it possible for Italy to provide for 7% of the country’s energy need.
The Fukushima Tragedy of 2011 compelled the East Asian country to make more efforts in shifting to solar energy use from nuclear – currently the primary energy source. Japan offers government subsidies for solar panel installation in homes.
China’s solar power production is mostly concentrated on solar photovoltaics and solar water heating technologies. Recent industry reports show that China is rapidly increasing its solar power capacities, with plans of ballooning it by as much as 21% by the end of 2016.
Germany leaves second-place China by about 10,000 Megawatts in the top spot for this list of the 8 countries that produce the most solar energy in the world, although at the rate that China is going, this gap may easily be narrowed or even overturned. Germany is not just a leader in solar energy production; in many ways, it is a trailblazer having started their strong-willed renewable energy laws as early as 1991 – way ahead of its western counterparts including the US.