Solar Panels: An Overview of Countries Utilizing the Most Solar Energy
Solar energy is a type of renewable energy that is derived from sunlight and can be converted into electricity or used for heating or cooling. As countries around the world become more aware of the environmental impacts of traditional energy generation methods, many are turning to renewable sources, led by solar energy. In 2020, China was the biggest user of solar energy according to data compiled by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Overview of Solar Power Usage Around the World
As of August 2020, IRENA’s data showed that the top five countries that have the highest solar capacities in the world are China, United States, Japan, Germany, and India. The cumulative installed solar capacity of these countries is nearly 450 GW, which is almost 60% of the total global capacity. In the case of each of these countries, solar is becoming increasingly cost-competitive and reliable, making it an attractive option for governments seeking to move towards clean energy sources.
China’s Lead in Solar Energy Utilization in 2020
China is leading the way in renewable energy and has grown to become the largest user of solar energy in 2020, with a total installed solar capacity of 254,355 MW. This is nearly three times that of the second highest user, the United States, which had an installed solar capacity of 75,572 MW. China’s lead in solar energy utilization has enabled it to reduce its dependence on coal and oil, helping to make it a leader in the global renewable energy transition.
How China Accomplished This Feat
China’s build-out of its renewable energy sector has been helped by its ability to implement sustainable energy initiatives. The Chinese government has implemented a wide range of incentives and policies in order to encourage the development of renewable energy sources, including solar energy. These include big subsidies and tax breaks to developers and the introduction of feed-in tariffs to ensure that solar energy is competitively priced. Additionally, the government has also created a competitive bidding system that has allowed developers to secure more competitive project financing.
Benefits of Solar Energy
The growth of the solar energy sector has been a boon for a number of environmental, economical, and health benefits. Not only does investing in solar energy help reduce reliance on polluting sources of energy, but it also has the potential to bring cost savings to many countries. Solar power can help reduce the need for peak electricity demand and also provides a secure energy source which reduces reliance on energy imports. Additionally, improved air quality has been seen in cities that have implemented renewable energy sources, resulting in reduced respiratory disease in those areas.
Other Powerful Contenders in the Renewable Energy Sector
In addition to the aforementioned nations with the highest solar capacities, other countries are investing heavily in renewable energy sources. The United States is the second biggest user of solar energy and has long been a leader in the renewable energy transition, with over 70,000 MW of installed solar capacity as of August 2020. Japan is also building its own renewable energy sector, and its installed solar capacity of 67,000 MW makes it the third biggest user of solar in the world. Additionally, countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy, and India have also embraced renewable energy sources and are investing in solar projects in order to reduce their reliance on non-renewable sources.
As the world looks to tackle the global climate crisis and move in the direction of sustainability, solar energy has become a crucial part of the global energy transition. In 2020, China was the biggest user of solar energy, with a total installed capacity of 254,355 MW, which is over three times larger than that of the United States. Through its implementation of government-backed initiatives and incentives, China has made great strides in its investment in renewable energy sources, setting itself to be a leader in the global renewable energy transition. The world has much to learn from how China has encouraged its renewable energy sector, and hopefully other countries will be inspired to make a similar move towards a green transition.
To answer the question of what country uses the most solar energy in 2020, the answer is China with 254,355 MW of installed solar capacity.