There has always been a desperation to move our dependency from dirty, finite fossil fuels to a more cleaner and sustainable fuel source and since the start of the decade there has been a rapid boom in the adoption of solar energy harnessing. Solar panels are becoming more efficient and continuous developments in the tech mean that it’s being adopted in unexpected areas not well-known for having loads of sunlight. Here are the top 10 performing countries in solar energy!
1. Germany – 35.5 GW
– Germany was the world leader back in 2010 with 9.8 GW as well.
2. China – 18.3 GW
– Even though China has a massive and dense population and known for its smog. It ranks pretty high on this list!
3. Italy – 17.6 GW
– Italy was in 5th place in 2010 and has risen up to 3rd place as of the end of 2013.
4. Japan – 13.6 GW
– Japan has increased their solar capacity by 500% since June 2010. Unfortunately they have slipped from 3rd to 4th place as of 2013.
5. United States – 12 GW
– The United States increased their capacity by 750% and it is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
6. Spain – 5.6 GW
– Spain was once the world leader back in 2008 with 2.6 GW. Complexity and delays related to a new government subsidy program and a decrease in energy demand led to this drop.
7. France – 4.6 GW
– France has continued to benefit from its well-designed FiT for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), but the country’s solar growth has been slowed by a lack of political support for solar incentives.
8. Australia – 3.3 GW
– Australia boasts some of the greatest solar potential in the world. Solar power costs less than half what grid electricity costs, although the current government is considering scaling back the federal Renewable Energy Target, which would slow if not stop the country’s upward trajectory in these lists.
9. Belgium – 3 GW
– A surprisingly strong contender over the years, Belgium’s success was from “a well-designed Green Certificates scheme (which actually works as a Feed-in Tariff), combined with additional tax rebates and electricity self-consumption.”
10. United Kingdom – 2.9 GW
– Rewind 5 years ago and the UK was miles away from being in the top 10. Improvements in the efficiency of the tech teamed with good government backing means that the UK has become a poster child for the global solar boom.