Top 5 Countries Harnessing Solar Power

Shubham Kumar
3 min readNov 2, 2023

The global shift toward cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy is gaining momentum, and solar power is at the forefront of this green revolution. In the last decade, rising awareness of climate change and a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have driven countries to embrace solar energy. The results are impressive, with soaring numbers in solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. Here’s a glimpse of the top 5 nations that are leading the way in harnessing the power of the sun, based on statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Region wise distribution of Solar Power. Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_of_photovoltaics#/media/File:2007-_New_solar_installations_-_annually_by_country_or_region.svg

China: A Solar Superpower

China has maintained its dominance in the solar energy industry. In 2022, the country added a staggering 87.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity, bringing its cumulative total to 392.43 GW, a remarkable 37.5% share of the global market. While it fell just short of its 2022 target due to pandemic-related disruptions, China’s transition to a low-carbon economy is a critical global endeavor. The nation has set ambitious targets, aiming for carbon neutrality before 2060.

United States: A Growing Solar Giant

The United States ranks second globally in terms of cumulative PV installed capacity, which reached 110.1 GW in 2022, with 17 GW added during the year. Solar power has seen rapid growth, representing around 46% of new U.S. electric generation capacity in 2022, compared to just 4% in 2010. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to achieving a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, taking several measures to reach these goals.

Japan: Solar Advancements and Commitment

Japan is the third-ranking nation with a total installed PV capacity of 78.83 GW. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 has set the stage for a robust commitment to solar power. In a bid to reduce household carbon emissions, a regulation passed in 2022 mandates the installation of solar power panels in all new houses built by large-scale homebuilders after April 2025.

Germany: Europe’s Solar Leader

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, ranks fourth in installed solar capacity, with 66.55 GW at the end of 2023. Germany’s ambitious “Energiewende” policy aims to transition from fossil fuels to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy by utilizing renewable sources, with a goal of fulfilling all electricity needs with renewables by 2035.

India: Sun-Drenched Potential

India, blessed with abundant solar potential, ranks fifth globally in solar power capacity, with 62.80 GW at the end of 2022. The Indian government has set ambitious targets to add 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually for the next five years, with the aim of reaching 500 GW by 2030. India’s commitment extends to reducing its emissions intensity and achieving a 50% share of non-fossil fuel-based energy resources in its power capacity by 2030.

These top 5 nations are not just embracing solar energy; they are setting an example for the world. As the sun’s energy continues to be harnessed, it is clear that the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future is well underway. Solar power is no longer the energy source of the future; it is the energy source of today, powering homes, businesses, and entire nations, and driving us toward a greener and more sustainable tomorrow. With ongoing advancements and commitments, these countries are leading the charge in the solar power revolution.

--

--