Solar energy comes up with substantial benefits on our climate, health, and economy; obliquely! As a matter of fact, the entire world can be directed towards a path of renewable energy, and indeed it is all prepared to rise to the position of achieving 100 percent renewable, by the year 2050! Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy brings home a lot of other advantages like leading to more mixed land use—like blending, ranching with wind farms. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2018 the United States generated nearly 17% of electricity from renewable energy sources. Renewable Energy would be providing for 80% of U.S. electricity by 2050. Today solar power is the third most profound source of renewable resources after Hydropower and wind power, respectively. Some nations are more superficial than compared to other small-scaled ones. Certain countries remain underneath the sun perennially; while the others are still persisting erratic sunlight over their lands. Despite so much in contrast, the strive to gain a ‘sustainable future’ for the upcoming generation is standing as firm as a rock, for all! Some rankings have been done by iSolarWorld based on reports from various leading data sources.
Germany has long been one of the salient entities of solar power utilization and production. At the end of May 2019, the cumulative solar power capacity of Germany reached 47.72 GW. Referring to Fraunhofer ISE, the first quarter of 2019 saw solar and wind energy plants deliver around 92.6 TWh of clean energy into the German power grid. The country has successfully met over 50% of the nation’s daily energy demand from solar power. Indeed their perpetual transition to cleaner energy has lately ranked them in the queue of the world’s largest solar power-generator in 2019!
The nation with the largest population and carbon footprint consequently, China has been quite vocal about its shifting to renewable energy from the very beginning. Several centralized solar power projects of 2019 will get benefitted by China’s government subsidies, like 1.7 billion Yuan (247.64 million dollars), involving the total installed capacity of 22.79 GW. According to reports from the National Energy Administration (NEA), 3,921 projects in 22 provinces and cities got approvals for these aforesaid subsidies.
The country’s dense population refrains it from installing huge chunks of solar panels over their land. Despite this barrier, Japan is still among the world’s leaders in terms of total solar energy production, roughly around 55.5 GW in early 2019. The country could install nearly 155 GW by 2030 if things go according to their targets.
Italy has been quite faraway in the tandem of solar power generation, as compared to its contemporaries. Likely to go some way to promoting renewable investment and helping Italy reach its 2030 targets are the seven competitive auctions to be held between 2019 and 2021, which include up to 4.8 GW in new PV and wind power plants, as well as 140 megawatts (MW) of hydro, biomass, and geothermal plants.
5. United States
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, nearly 17% of electricity generation in the United States was hailed with the help of renewable power. Given the growing awareness of the natives of this country apropos the conservation of their environmental resources, nearly two million solar installations took place in 2019. All conditions remaining favorable, this perpetual growth might give rise to as much as four million solar installations by the year 2030. The U.S Department of Energy has also forecasted a 10% hike in their solar power generation by end of this year.
A country with one of the fastest-growing solar plants, India’s solar installed capacity reached 28.18 GW in March 2019 and the country became the lowest cost producer of solar power in the world. The government had an initial target of 20 GW capacities for 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule in 2018.
7. United Kingdom
Government initiatives encouraging schools, businesses, and homes to introduce solar panels, alongside a decrease in the cost of PV technology, have helped the UK establish itself as a leading country in solar power production. Around 5% of Britain’s total electricity generation was provided through solar by early 2019.
PV accounted for 5.2% of Australia’s electrical energy production in early 2019, and as of March 2019, the country had over 12,035 MW of installed PV solar power, of which 4,068 MW were installed in the preceding 12 months. 59 solar PV projects with a combined installed capacity of 2,881 MW are also either under construction, constructed or due to start construction having reached financial closure. Controversies do suggest that Australia is inefficient in leveraging 100% from the sun, although it has the sunshine, resources, and infrastructure to do more.
Overall, the country’s cumulative installed PV power surpassed an impressive 8.5 GW, with the newly installed PV capacity reaching 479 MW. Boosted by its political sector and economy in-association with upscale innovations in the recent solar industry, France is steadily growing as a generator of this form of environmentally-friendly energy.
10. South Korea
According to the Ministry Of Trade, Industry & Energy, South Korea has successfully exceeded its Annual Deployment Target of 1.63 GW by installing 1.64 GW of Solar PV until July 2019. South Korea has plans to add 30 GW of PV by 2030, sundry of other steps have been undertaken to combat the country’s overall former poor renewable performance, with 9% of that capacity to be developed in Saemangeum and 14GW of solar power energy to be installed before 2020.
United States population resembles that of 4.27% of the total world population. The population density of the United States stands as 36 per kilometers square, which means 93 people per meter square. Although more can be done to harness the power from that bright fireball in the sky, several countries have taken the lead in capturing the sun’s energy and are using it as a viable source of electricity. America should derive inference from Germany, China, Italy, and Japan when it comes to solar power. Although solar power once belonged to the niche market, these countries are proving that solar power is a legitimate answer to the world’s search for alternatives to fossil fuels. What's surprising about this list is that relatively trivial countries are on it. Germany, Japan, Italy — they all rank higher than the US, even though the latter entails a bigger land capacity. We all know that installing solar panels requires a large quantity of open space- be it land or water! So for the smaller countries being on this list is quite impressive overall. Nearly 177,003 Megawatts was the result when the total solar-generating capacity of the entire world was added in a row; which is enough to power over 29 million homes.
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