These days many countries use various methods to encourage the production of solar energy. Energy experts believe that India and the U.S. can make a great stride forward significantly changing the global solar energy leaderboard in the near future. Want the facts? Here is our list of the top 10 solar-producing countries.
Despite the fact that Pakistan only joined a solar community in 2012 with the launch of its first on-grid PV plant, its ambitions are high. The country is expected to finish the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, the largest in the world, generating a 1GW capacity. With the decline of global tariffs, Pakistan is planning to adopt power auctions which will cause solar energy prices drop even more.
Australia has been present in solar energy sector since 2009 and in 2015 its cumulative PV capacity reached 5.7GW. Currently as many as 20 solar projects are being developed in the country. However, Australia still has rather low global ranking and the country's government is expected to facilitate the industry development.
Boasting healthy economy and a rapidly developing energy sector, France plays a key role in expanding solar capabilities worldwide. In 2016, France together with India, founded the International Solar Alliance (ISA) that aims to increase solar presence in a range of countries.
The United Kingdom can be proud of quite high rate of installed capacity. Not only does the country have a number of commercial solar installations, but successive governments have continuously been supporting programs that encourage installing solar panels in both public and privately owned buildings. An interesting fact is that between April and September 2016, the solar installations in UK managed to produce more electricity than coal.
Despite the fact that Italy is a major net energy importer solar constitutes nearly 10 percent of its energy resources and this figure is going to increase at least twice in the next decade, even exceeding its 2020 target. As a result the country has all the chances to reduce its dependence on foreign generation.
Germany has recently expressed its deep commitment to renewable energy, planning to generate at least 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, and this way considerably reduce carbon emissions. Topping the list of the solar producing countries in Europe Germany has about 30 large PV generation plants, each producing 20MW annually.
Although India started producing solar only in 2011, the country is expected to make great progress in production by 2020, being supported by a $1 billion loan from the World Bank this year alone. And apparently this is just the beginning as the Modi government has set the goal to reach an installed capacity of 100GW by 2022. In addition, solar is used in heating and purifying water in many areas of India so the country's solar potential is more promising than that of even some more developed countries.
Japan is known for its developed manufacturing sectors and the wide use of advanced technologies so no wonder solar generation has long been considered one of the country's priorities. In its effort to produce sufficient amount of solar energy to cover 10 percent of the country's overall energy needs by 2050 Japan actively pushes innovation in the sector. In 2002 Japan finished the construction of Solar Ark building, one of the largest solar buildings in the world and a worthy example of sustainability. Just recently the world's most efficient solar panel was created in Japan as well.
The USA has everything to address solar on a large scale. The country has got the innovative technology, favorable environmental conditions and constantly increasing demand. However, solar energy sector in American can stay without political support. Still, the country's solar prospects are rather promising. The country has many solar installations, some of the largest in the world, and their number tends to increase since many states are going to continue developing solar energy as part of their renewable energy goals.
Although China's environmental record is quite low, the country managed to increase its solar capacity by 81 percent the previous year. So the country's goal of generating 20 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2030 seems quite attainable. It's unbelievable, but by 2014 China accounted for 70 percent of the total installed solar thermal capacity of the whole globe.