Dirty Energy & Fuel top-countries-using-solar-energy-03

Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Tom Chu

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Top 6 Countries Using Solar Energy

 
Using solar energy has numerous advantages, and that’s why many countries have decided to use more renewable energy rather than rely on other forms of energy that are running out. Not only is solar energy much cheaper but it’s not as harmful to the environment since it doesn’t produce pollution like other forms of power do.

 

One of the main factors that prompted several countries to convert to using solar power is the fact that the energy, which comes from the sun, is completely renewable. As a result, there will never be any fear of a lack of energy throughout the country.

1. Germany

Solar Energy in Germany

Germany is, without a doubt, the leading country for using solar energy. Not only has Germany installed thousands of solar panels already, but it plans to be using nothing but renewable energy by 2050. The country has remained the top buyer of solar energy panels for several years now, and is expected to continue going forward in the same direction during the upcoming months.

During 2009, Germany installed eight times more megawatts of photovoltaics solar energy capacity than America did that year.

2. Spain

Solar Energy in Spain

Although Spain hasn’t converted to solar energy to the extent that Germany has, it has been making an effort to use renewable energy more and more for several years. Spain was once the world’s leader for solar energy. However, 2009 saw it dip as Germany stepped up and took the top spot. During its economic crisis, there was much less demand for energy, which delayed the installing of solar energy panels within the country.

Around 10 percent of Spain’s energy comes from solar power, which is five times more than the average of 2 percent in the rest of the world.

3. Italy

Solar Energy in Italy

Italy is coming up just behind Spain, with 9 percent of its energy being from solar power. Italy is doing a lot to convert to solar energy, and, every two months, there are more solar energy panels installed in the country than there in California during a whole year.

Unreliable data makes it difficult to predict exactly how much more solar energy will be used by Italy in the future. Previously, estimates predicted that Italy would have plenty of solar panels installed by the end of the year, but the estimates turned out to be inaccurate, and Italy fell below the high levels anticipated.

4. Japan

Solar Energy in Japan

During 2009, Japan invested $9 billion in an attempt to encourage solar energy within the country. In the same year, the prime minister announced that 32,000 public schools within Japan would see the installation of solar power.

Until March 2011, which saw the nuclear power disaster and earthquakes in Japan, the country had been developing quickly in relation to solar energy, and more than 990 megawatts had been installed than the year before.

5. United States

Solar Energy in the USA

As electricity costs get higher, Americans are showing more interest in solar energy. The rising amounts of sunshine that the USA sees each year is another factor that has encouraged the country to consider using more solar energy.

California is the state with the most solar energy, and is the obvious leader in the USA with 60 percent of all solar installations in America.

Plans are in place to install even much more solar power in coming years, despite the potential expiration of the federal solar tax credit.

6. Czech Republic

Solar Energy in Czech Republic

Fast economic growth in the Czech Republic has been one of the main reasons why solar energy is becoming dominant in this particular country. With one of the fastest growing markets in the world, the Czech Republic has been installing solar power at a good pace since before 2007.

Czech Republic doesn’t have as much solar power as Spain or Italy, of course. However, countries like Spain and Italy see a lot more sun each year. Additionally, Spain, Italy, Germany, the U.S., and Japan have much larger populations. The fact that land in the Czech Republic is cheaper than land in Spain has encouraged the growth of solar power significantly, and even though there is less sunshine, the low cost of buying land has compromised the lack of sunshine.

Conclusion

All of the countries mentioned here are growing to a great degree each year in the amount of solar energy that they use. However, many other countries around the world are also using solar power. If you think a certain country should be given a mention, please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.




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About the Author

Tom Chu is the SEO manager at PsPrint, an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing among other popular services. Follow PsPrint on Twitter and Facebook



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  • Tom King

    Since solar is expanding at 65% a year, the fact that some countries are already at 10% penetration means we can expect to fly past the tipping point in just another few years. After the number hits 50%, growth actually has to stop since the future potential sales then becomes smaller then the delivered sales. At this point, expect massive additional price drops since it then becomes a battle for manufacturing efficiency. It isn’t like computers where you keep upgrading every few years. With solar, once you go carbon neutral you never need to repeat the decision. And what an inexpensive decision it will be!

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