Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Tom Chu
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.