The pros and cons of solar power have been going around the dinner table for years, but love it or hate it some countries invest a lot of time and money in solar energy and here are the ten biggest…
10 – India (Solar Energy Produced: 4,909 GWh)
Wiki Info: Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
9 – Australia (Solar Energy Produced: 4,952 GWh)
Wiki Info: Photovoltaics were initially solely used as a source of electricity for small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system. Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. The 392 MW Ivanpah installation is the largest concentrating solar power plant in the world, located in the Mojave Desert of California.
8 – France (Solar Energy Produced: 7,400 GWh)
Wiki Info: As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale solar power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power station in the world is the 850 MW Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in Qinghai, China.
7 – United Kingdom (Solar Energy Produced: 7,561 GWh)
Wiki Info: The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its “high renewables” scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of the worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world’s largest source of electricity. Most solar installations would be in China and India.
6 – Spain (Solar Energy Produced: 13,673 GWh)
Wiki Info: Many industrialized nations have installed significant solar power capacity into their grids to supplement or provide an alternative to conventional energy sources while an increasing number of less developed nations have turned to solar to reduce dependence on expensive imported fuels (see solar power by country). Long distance transmission allows remote renewable energy resources to displace fossil fuel consumption.
5 – Italy (Solar Energy Produced: 21,186 GWh)
Wiki Info: A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using the photovoltaic effect. The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s. The German industrialist Ernst Werner von Siemens was among those who recognized the importance of this discovery.
4 – Japan (Solar Energy Produced: 35,253 GWh)
Wiki Info: ]In 1931, the German engineer Bruno Lange developed a photo cell using silver selenide in place of copper oxide, although the prototype selenium cells converted less than 1% of incident light into electricity. Following the work of Russell Ohl in the 1940s, researchers Gerald Pearson, Calvin Fuller and Daryl Chapin created the silicon solar cell in 1954.
3 – United States (Solar Energy Produced: 48,563 GWh)
Wiki Info: The early development of solar technologies starting in the 1860s was driven by an expectation that coal would soon become scarce. Charles Fritts installed the world’s first rooftop photovoltaic solar array, using 1%-efficient selenium cells, on a New York City roof in 1884.
2 – China (Solar Energy Produced: 44,437 GWh)
Wiki Info: In 1974 it was estimated that only six private homes in all of North America were entirely heated or cooled by functional solar power systems.
1 – Germany (Solar Energy Produced: 38,400 GWh)
Wiki Info: In the mid-1990s, development of both, residential and commercial rooftop solar as well as utility-scale photovoltaic power stations, began to accelerate again due to supply issues with oil and natural gas, global warming concerns, and the improving economic position of PV relative to other energy technologies