Many countries have started implanting solar power as a way of generating energy, instead of solely relying on fossil fuels alone.
The power produced by solar energy is known to be cleaner, friendlier to the environment, and lower in cost.
This can help in the long run, especially as the power generating substances used today aren’t renewable.
In the following article, we will be listing the top ten countries with most solar power usage.
It is no wonder that the People’s Republic of China is the leading country in solar PV generation. With a capacity of 131 GW, it is the top contender on the list.
Half of the equipment, which was added in the few last years to generate solar energy in the country is locally produced.
This number means that they could light up a full-sized football pitch every single day, using only solar power energy.
China also owns the largest markets for both photovoltaic (using solar panels) and solar thermal energy production.
In the past few years, China kept adding PV capacity, making it reach 45 percent of the world’s added PV capacity.
And on top of all that, China helped cut down the cost of solar energy producing equipment by half for the rest of the world.
The biggest three photovoltaic energy stations are located in China, including the biggest solar energy producing desert park.
By 2025, China aims to reach 1,300 GW of solar capacity, making 70 percent of its energy solar produced.
India is the second on the list of countries with most added PVC capacity, at 10,800 MW and 28.18 GW in 2019.
It is also the fastest growing in terms of solar energy. In 2010, India launched a plan called “The National Solar Mission”.
Since 2015, India’s Prime Minister Modi has announced a plan to an initiative which will potentially increase solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022.
This is quite ambitious since the whole world’s PVC capacity amounts to 177 GW. However, the Indian government is doing its best to reach this quota.
In 2018, the Indian government announced that it has allocated about 350 USD of funds to support solar energy growth and projects.
Another initiative was also done by the Indian government to help light up houses without electricity in rural areas.
This was considered a huge task since there are more than 200,000 units of housing without access to electricity.
To combat this issue, the government started using irrigation canals to produce energy.
This way, the country was able to empower farmers by helping them cut down on diesel purchases and to sell surplus power to purchase energy grids.
3. The United States of America
The United States of America has always been a strong competitor on the list of countries with most solar energy production.
It is also the home to the biggest solar power plants in the world, with a solar capacity of 10,600 MW, and 50 GW.
Currently, the leading state in solar power production is Calfornia. Most of the solar energy produced in the United States is through photovoltaic systems, using solar panels on rooftops.
Research for photovoltaic systems in the United States started since the 1950s. Which earned it the title of the country that houses four of the ten biggest photovoltaic power stations in the world.
Official organizations in the United States are encouraging individuals and corporations to deploy solar energy.
Almost 29 states have set rules that make renewable energy production mandatory, in which solar power is mentioned in more than 15 targets.
Besides that, people are becoming more and more interested in renewable energy, and more than 700,000 houses and business corporations in the United States have started generating solar energy through solar systems.
Fourth on the list is Japan, with a PV capacity of 6,500 MW (6.5 percent of the world’s production), and almost 50 GW.
Today, the installed power plants are said to produce an estimate of 2.5 percent of the nation’s energy.
Japan has been expanding its solar power production research since the beginning of the 1990s.
After 2005’s nuclear accident, many nuclear plants in the country were left untouched.
As a result, a source was found to produce renewable energy without the need for nuclear plants.
Offshore solar plants were created, which supply energy to more than 22,000 homes in one of Japan’s prefectures.
In 2004, the Japanese government created a plan to reach 28 GW solar power capacity in 2020, 53 GW in 2030.
The Japanese government also wanted to produce 10 percent of the annual energy demand in the nation.
To everyone’s surprise, the target for 2020 (28 GW solar power capacity) was surpassed in 2014.
Japan also has one of the largest solar buildings in the world, called “The Solar Ark“, which was built in 2002.
There are also three major solar power plants in Japan. Two in Kawasaki, and one in mountain Komekura.
Japan also has many upcoming projects related to solar energy, as the price for electricity generated using photovoltaic panels was reduced.
With more than 10 large power generating projects, Australia continues to prove itself as a growing industry in solar power production.
Up until 2019, Australia has installed more than 12,000 MW of photovoltaic solar panels.
Solar feed-in tariffs were built in multiple places, such as Adelaide Airport, government buildings, the Parliament and much more.
Educational programs that introduce solar energy were also conducted, as well as installing more feed-in tariffs in hundreds of schools.
Today, more than 50 solar projects are currently being constructed, with a combined capacity of more than 2000 MW.
Australia’s dry and humid climate makes its potential in solar energy production higher than other nations.
In addition, the insolation rates (which exceed 4-kilowatt hours) are higher than average values in North America, Russia and most of Europe.
Installed solar production panels increased about a tenfold in Australia between the years 2009 and 2010, and even more between the years 2011 and 2017.
By the end of 2020, the Australian government is planning to cover 20 percent of national electricity demand using solar energy and other renewable resources, such as hydro and wind.
On the other side, Australia has been criticized by many nations for producing little solar power, despite its many many resources and excessive sunshine.
Almost all solar power produced in Germany is through the usage of photovoltaic panels.
Germany is also one of the first countries to install and use scale PV power.
It is estimated that this solar power covers about six percent of the country’s annual electricity demand.
More than 1 million solar panels were installed around the nation in 2014, ranging in sizes and solar production percentages.
Germany was one of China’s competitors in producing local solar panels. However, that started to decline in the year 2011.
A large percentage of solar-related jobs in the country were also lost. This loss reached approximately 70 percent.
CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) is not focused on in Germany since it demands higher insolation, which isn’t significant. It also doesn’t use photovoltaics.
On the other side, Germany is experimenting with CSP technology at the moment.
It is used for purposes other than electricity generation. That site that’s using it is owned by the German Aerospace Center.
However, more than 8 GW photovoltaic panels are in the process of being shut down at the moment.
Germany plans on increasing solar power contribution to cover annual electricity demands by 80 percent in the year 2025.
Mexico is the largest solar energy producer in South America, as it has access to vast amounts of energy.
In addition to that, all of Mexico’s electricity could be easily supplied through solar power and other renewable materials through photovoltaic panels, as the insolation is incredibly high.
In the past, most solar energy technologies in Mexico were used for minor processes, such as drying crops, heating water, and space heating.
In 2012, the Mexican government introduced two rules which would require that 35 percent of power supply would be from solar energy by 2024.
The rule also requires that carbon emissions be lowered by almost 50 percent by 2050.
At a solar power conference, Mexico’s solar energy production was discussed, and it was decided that PV electricity would comprise about 10 percent in 2025.
Mexico is also home to “The Villanueva Solar Plant“, which is deemed as the largest solar power plant in both the Americas.
About 98 percent of solar power generation is done by solar panels installed on rooftops of houses, or used by businesses.
The installation of these solar panels has been rising steadily since 2007. If this continues, then Mexico’s total installed capacity would surpass the government’s goal by a large margin.
By 2013, more than 20 percent of Mexico’s energy production was said to be from renewable resources.
Solar power capacity is rapidly increasing in France. It has been reported that it reached over 7000 MW by the end of 2017.
The capacity is expected to expand to reach about 20 GW installed by the end of 2023. But that isn’t apparent since there isn’t much political support.
Solar power installation in France only started recently in 2008. The PV capacity increased rapidly in the next two years, albeit the relatively small support.
Growth in PV capacity has slowed since then, because of lack of support from the French government, which was criticized by the EPIA, besides many other media outlets.
France was ranked 4th in the European Union by solar power capacity and installation.
It is also the home to “Cestas Solar Park”, which produces 300 MW. There are about 8 major photovoltaic stations in France, with Cestas being the biggest, and Curbans Solar Park being the smallest.
Insolation ranges in France from two to three hours of full sunlight a day, depending on the area and the season.
It is hoped that in the long run, France will be able to increase solar production rates, and decrease costs, which will be a great help to poor and remote regions in the nation.
Solar power in Turkey has an installed capacity of 1500 MW, which amounts to 1.5 percent of the world’s production.
Since Turkey has an advantageous geographic position in both the Middle East and Europe, opportunities to generate solar power energy are extremely high (7 hours per day on average).
Insolation rates are also higher than average. In 2018, Turkey was able to produce about 2.5 percent of its annual energy demand through solar power.
If half of Turkey’s land was covered with solar panels, then all the electricity generated could easily be covered with solar power.
In 2010, the second law regarding solar energy was enacted in Turkey.
Nowadays, the Turkish government is encouraging the utilization of solar energy in place of fossil fuels.
Most of the solar energy producing equipment in Turkey are called flat plate collectors for water heating.
These flat plate collectors can be used to heat water by absorbing sunlight.
Photovoltaic panels are not going to be used during 2019 due to financial issues, but they are expected to be back in full force during the 2020s.
The solar power business in Turkey could easily take off if the system was improved.
Spain proudly holds the title for the first country to install Concentered Solar Power (CSP) in the world.
It also happens to be one of the top ten countries with the most installed photovoltaic panels.
This humongous success could also be attributed to the fact that Spain is one of the countries with the longest hours of sunlight.
But unfortunately, due to the financial crisis in 2008, the Spanish government had to cut down on solar power costs, which caused a big setback for future increases.
New installations were also not apparent during the years 2013 to 2017, even though they noticeably accelerated in other regions.
This caused Spain to lose its title to other countries such as China, Germany, and Japan (which were mentioned above).
Spain has held large auctions in order to increase construction of establishments that provide renewable energy capacity, which are expected to be up and running by the year 2020.
These establishments will contribute about 4 GW, using solar and wind.
In addition, Spain houses the PS10 solar power plant, which is the first of its kind.
It has an impressive exterior and produces about 11 megawatts of energy using more than 600 moving mirrors, which are called heliostats.