Fossil fuels are not sustainable and nuclear energy can be alarmingly volatile. But if we look at the bright side, the sun is a safe and mostly ever-present source of power. Here are the top five countries that are pioneering the solar power movement by producing the most solar energy.
Germany isn’t the sunniest place on Earth and yet, they have managed to meet over 50% of the nation’s daily energy needs from solar power on several occasions. It’s the largest economy to rely so remarkably on renewable energy.
As of 2015, China is the largest producer and buyer of solar panels. Understandably so considering that China has the world’s largest population and carbon footprint. Other contributing factors include China’s desperate need for electricity, coupled with its air pollution crisis. China’s government is aggressively encouraging financial institutions to give incentives for solar installations.
As a relatively small country, Japan doesn’t necessarily have ample space to build large solar plants. So, they took the matter to the water. Japan is a leader in floating solar power.
The world’s first floating solar plant was built in Japan and the country’s many inland lakes and reservoirs are now home to 73 of the world’s 100 largest floating solar plants.
While not producing nearly the same amount of solar power as the other leading nations, in 2014 Italy supplied almost 10% of the nation’s total energy needs, more than any other country at the time. However, experts predict that Italy’s impressive output will decline now that the tax breaks given to solar farms have expired.
The USA has steadily been improving in its production and usage of solar energy. This has largely been as a result of an 18 billion-dollar investment in solar power as well as substantial government incentives given to the residential sector, which is the fastest-growing market segment.