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Top 10 Solar Power Countries

Which countries have the most installed solar capacity?
For the year 2020, according to Wikipedia
Quiz by Jerry928
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Last updated: December 11, 2021
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First submittedSeptember 3, 2015
Times taken40,335
Average score80.0%
Rating4.74
1:30
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GW
Change since 2016
Country
254.4
+226%
China
75.6
+88%
United States
67.0
+57%
Japan
53.8
+30%
Germany
39.2
+335%
India
21.6
+12%
Italy
17.6
+199%
Australia
16.5
+274,967% !
Vietnam
14.6
+235%
South Korea
14.1
+202%
Spain
+44
Level ∞
Feb 28, 2017
From 2004-2015, worldwide solar power production increased at 51% per year!

In 2015, it only accounted for 1.05% of electricity generation, but at current rates of growth, solar will dominate the energy market in the next 10-20 years.

CO2 emissions will decline. The coal and oil industries are doomed. The solar revolution is coming sooner than people think.

+24
Level 79
Feb 28, 2017
I hope you're right. Long overdue.
+11
Level 86
Nov 5, 2019
Oh yeah? And what are we going to do for power when the sun burns out?!

* Just kidding *

+8
Level 55
May 3, 2021
Flashlights. LOTS of them.
+5
Level 62
Feb 28, 2017
Solar power is a good supplement, but not primary energy source. It's too costly to store it. Creating the batteries necessary to store large amounts of solar energy becomes inhibitively costly very quickly. Petrol is ready to be converted into energy instantly and at any time of day.
+18
Level ∞
Feb 28, 2017
This is changing rapidly as well. I'm sure you've heard of Tesla's power wall? Battery cost will decrease over time and storage size will increase.
+13
Level 71
Mar 1, 2017
Even as a supplement, solar could drastically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. It really is foolish not to use it to its fullest capabilities.
+8
Level 93
Apr 22, 2017
No longer true, storage methods have vastly improved. We can now use solar power more smartly to store energy. We can use it to pump water uphill for future use through a hydroelectric dam; we can also store it as heat energy in cheaper substances (such as stones). It's really amazing.
+3
Level 69
Apr 24, 2017
^^^ Just watched a "Bill Nye saves the world" episode where they talk about some of these methods for storing energy.
+4
Level 64
Aug 9, 2017
Yay, Sometimes I would watch something on Global Warming and be all worried but then I take this quiz and all is well.
+2
Level 40
Mar 4, 2021
well. not saying that you should still be worried but the situation still isnt very... good with global warming
+1
Level 55
Mar 7, 2022
global warming will really only affect people generations from now
+3
Level 67
Mar 11, 2022
@kenneth

I'll grant that things can always get worse, but it's already affecting our generation significantly.

+1
Level 55
May 4, 2022
yeah but in our generations of early 2000s and late 1900s Global Warming is mainly going to be really bad probably in the late 2000s.
+2
Level 67
Aug 7, 2022
Kenneth I don't know what country you live in but both the United States and Australia are already dealing with yearly extreme weather events we're not equipped to handle, from massive fires to abnormal snowstorms to much stronger and more frequent tropical storms. You're right that people generations down the line will face far worse, but the effects of climate change are already here and already causing substantial damage.
+9
Level 78
Apr 22, 2017
You're right Quizmaster. The evil oil companies will all die off, we will become 100% reliant on renewable energy, there will be world peace, and we'll all hold hands around a campfire and sing Kumbaya!
+42
Level 59
Jun 3, 2019
you're probably the type of person who doesn't do anything about global warming because "there's no point."
+19
Level 71
Apr 22, 2017
Nuclear would be much more reliable and even safer, but people seem to be deathly afraid of it for no good reason.
+7
Level 70
Apr 22, 2017
Except that it's quite crazy to ask from our grandchildren living thousands of years in the future that they still guard our toxic waste. Imagine we would still have to guard the deadly waste that was the result of the energy production in ancient Egypt.
+5
Level 93
Apr 22, 2017
Unfortunately, nuclear takes too long to make safe for us to switch to it quickly enough to make a change. It takes almost 20 years per plant.
+4
Level 62
May 3, 2017
On paper it might seem a good sollution, but nuclear energy is not 100% safe and given the huge impact on both mankind and environment (often in terms of many generations), one needs to be prudent.

It's much easier and safer to work with a broad spectrum of renewable energy as there the risks of failure have fewer consequences.

+14
Level 72
Sep 12, 2017
For the record, even including every single nuclear reactor failure, nuclear is safer than any other energy source in 2017 per watt-hour generated if you take into account everything that is involved in setting up the system.

People die falling off of roofs installing solar panels, get chewed up by wind turbines, fall into dams, etc. all for nearly insignificant percentages of what a single nuclear plant can come up with. Coal and other fossil fuels of course are orders of magnitude more harmful.

+10
Level 75
Sep 12, 2017
Plutonium-239, a nuclear power by-product, has a half-life of 24,000 years, 12 times as long as the length of time between Christ's life and now. How can anyone have any idea that any particular location will be geologically and politically stable for 24,000 years? Or indeed, even if somewhere stays geologically and politically stable, whether our level of civilization will remain technologically capable of continuing to contain the waste anyway? After 24,000 years, the plutonium doesn't even become safe - it just becomes half as dangerous.
+3
Level 91
Apr 13, 2019
Pu-239 does have a long half life and it would be harmful if all absorbed at once but firstly it will radiate half its mass over 24000 years so at any given moment the quantity of radiation emitted is small and as an end product of nuclear reactions it is only 0.8% of the mass so if you have a reactor using 1kg of fuel you may have 8g lying around after.
+4
Level 67
Jun 7, 2019
I think it is important to realise that the precautions taken around nuclear energy and nuclear waste are sometimes possibly more than is necessary. Radiation poisoning is obviously bad and is rightly avoided where there is nuclear power, but it is probably less a danger than some people imagine. It is also possible that a more permanent solution may be found to the problem of nuclear waste than is currently possible, meaning that nuclear waste will not necessarily need to be looked after as it is today for periods of thousands of years.
+2
Level 63
Feb 29, 2020
All you need to generate is 1.21 jigawatts to activate a flux capacitor.
+3
Level 83
Apr 22, 2017
At the current rates of growth, how soon before it accounts for 200% of electricity production?
+1
Level 58
Dec 10, 2021
Hello four year old comment

It's currently at 2.3%, and growing at a slower rate of 15% per year. At this rate in 2060~ it will account for 221% of energy production in the world

+1
Level 55
Mar 11, 2022
If it goes at this rate. Sadly it will probably take a bit longer to become the main energy player. Although maybe further improvements in the technology may encourage more people to use it
+8
Level 46
Apr 22, 2017
It's CO2, not CO2!!
+2
Level 56
Apr 23, 2017
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
+2
Level 46
Oct 15, 2019
Well being optimistic is good and all but I'm sure you understand it is easy to double your production of anything when it's almost inexistant but quite hard to do the same when it is already huge...

That is why while solar power was increasing of 50% its share in total energy consumption didn't increase that much. Personnally I think photovoltaics aren't the way to go about solar energy, it is wasteful and inefficient. Solar energy should be used mostly to warm up houses without transforming it into electricity.

+2
Level 63
Nov 5, 2019
Coal production continues to grow at about 2.8% per year and makes up about 27% of the global energy supply [call global energy supply 'E'], so it increases by 2.8%*.27E = .756% of E every year.

If solar makes up 1.05% of the energy supply and grows at 50% per year, that means every year it grows by 50%*.0105E = .525% of E every year.

Coal energy is currently growing faster, in raw numbers.

If the growth in solar energy remains the same relative to its share of the energy market, then it should eventually 'dominate' over coal, but as long as coal and other fossil fuels continue to grow as well it does nothing useful for CO2 reductions. Both are driven by rising energy demand; they don't supplant the other.

The good news is that the growth of fossil fuel energy should slow and then reverse as solar energy becomes the cheaper alternative, and it is price reductions for solar, not its growth rate, that mean solar will, hopefully, dominate in the next 10-20 years.

+2
Level 65
Nov 5, 2019
Nuclear is the anwser. Solar is ineffecient in the northern half of Europe in the winter and we wont have good storage batteries for a long time. Nuclear is much saver than most people think.
+1
Level 55
Mar 11, 2022
Unless your Norway apparently. How are they running a country on water lmao.
+1
Level 60
Apr 13, 2022
Not everybody lives in the northern half of Europe.
+1
Level 77
Feb 28, 2017
Should it be GW instead of MW?
+1
Level 75
Feb 28, 2017
Yes, updated. Thanks for spotting that!
+6
Level 74
Feb 28, 2017
Germany on second Place! And we don't even have sun!
+1
Level 71
Mar 1, 2017
Wow, China are the new clean energy leaders.

The writing is on the wall for fossil fuels - adapt or perish.

+2
Level 86
Mar 1, 2017
Well, China knows that building coal plants at the rate they have been is totally unsustainable if they want air that isn't going to actively kill them.
+7
Level 73
Mar 5, 2017
If you lived here you wouldn't be saying that. Most of China's energy still comes from coal, and you can see the results of this throughout most of the country.
+2
Level 51
Jun 7, 2019
The reason why people praise china is that China is actually trying to solve global warming while the US is actively trying to create more coal power plants.
+2
Level 78
Apr 22, 2017
Do people seriously believe that?
+1
Level 79
Mar 15, 2022
For those pointing out China still builds coal plants, this is absolutely true.

However, China is mostly building supercritical and ultrasupercritical coal power plants. These plants are far more efficient than the smog producing monsters that you generally think about. About 22% more energy per ton of coal burned but also a fraction of the nitrous, sulfur, or particulate emissions of subcritical plants. They also tightened their emissions standards. It will take a long time to replace their existing dirty fleet of coal plants, but that is generally what they're doing.

So while they're building new coal plants, they CAN be cleaning up their emissions. Similar to how we have cleaned up ours by replacing coal with natural gas.

+1
Level 31
Mar 1, 2017
With Solar Power, Wind power and aqua power we can guarantee the Earth for the next generations.
+3
Level 78
Mar 2, 2017
It's really good to read a set of positive comments for a change.
+4
Level 75
Mar 2, 2017
... because this quiz had the power to do that.
+8
Level 75
Apr 22, 2017
This quiz has been featured on 22 April 2017, Earth Day, which is also the first day since the Industrial Revolution that the United Kingdom has met its daily power generation needs without using any coal at all.
+1
Level 67
Apr 22, 2017
That's so awesome! :D
+2
Level 78
Apr 22, 2017
Good. Now we just need Trump to give up on coal and more importantly, get China and India to clean up their act.
+2
Level 59
Apr 23, 2017
China is already one of the world's leading producers of clean energy.
+10
Level 67
Jun 7, 2019
Also one of the world's leading producers of dirty energy.
+1
Level 57
Apr 22, 2017
My thoughts taking the quiz: "66.6 % increase, largest in the top 10. It has to be a quickly developing, industrializing country. Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey etc" United Kingdom?! Why such a low capacity before and such an increase during 2015?
+2
Level 75
Apr 22, 2017
Massive increase in UK was probably due to government grants being available to home owners that meant adding solar panels to homes was virtually cost free
+1
Level 57
Apr 23, 2017
That makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up for me!
+1
Level 84
Apr 22, 2017
Pretty easy. Just thought of what would lend itself to a country having a large reliance on solar energy. Quickly came up with 1) large geographic area. 2) large energy demands. 3) highly developed/industrialized. 4) low fossil fuel reserves. 5) sunny weather 6) forward-thinking energy policy.

If you could tick off at least 4 things on the list chances are the country is on the quiz.

+2
Level 67
Jun 7, 2019
Of those I would say 2, 3 and 6 appear to be most important. Otherwise Germany, Japan, France, the UK, Spain and Italy wouldn't be here. Though actually 4 may apply in some cases there too. But for the other four yeah geographic area plays a large role I expect.
+1
Level 84
Nov 5, 2019
Those countries aren't huge, but they aren't tiny, either. and Spain's off the list now.
+2
Level 71
Apr 22, 2017
It is a great thought that solar power will be the answer to all our energy problems. Unfortunately the reality is not so. In the UK it is a help that's for sure, but the amount of energy needed is growing daily and it would take so much renewable sourcing that it will be fifty or more years to get up to 50%. There are currently six nuclear projects in development and In the short to medium-term gas is expected to play an even more significant role in the UK’s energy mix. Also it seems unlikely that solar PV projects will be eligible for participation in future CfD allocation rounds.
+3
Level 76
Apr 22, 2017
I don't like to be a naysayer, but I'm with you on this one. Going solar is great, but I also think we need to put more emphasis on how to lower overall demands for energy rather than find more ways to meet growing demands. Do we really need bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger commercial buildings, etc? Solar helps us leave a smaller footprint, but it's only one solution to the problem. I grew up when our big cars got eight miles to the gallon but no one cared because we could always find a gas war where gasoline was 19 cents per gallon. We grew up with the idea that energy was limitless, and good living meant a bigger house, bigger car, more TVs, etc. I hope the next generations are better at embracing the "less is more" attitude and will be more conservative of what we have in addition to finding ways to generate more.
+3
Level 78
Apr 22, 2017
Nuclear power is the future of energy.
+2
Level 67
Jun 7, 2019
Is it not more the past?
+1
Level ∞
Dec 11, 2021
@Malbaby. It looks like you were right. I'm leaving my original comment up, but my thinking has changed in the last 4 years. Solar and wind power have some major downsides that will need to be accounted for. There will be growing pains. Having a reliable, clean, source of power that works 24x7 no matter what is important. Nuclear seems the only way to accomplish that. Without nuclear, we'll be forced to rely on coal and natural gas for some time yet.
+1
Level 57
Apr 23, 2017
Solar is great for desert countries like Morocco (and all of North Africa) which is currently building one of the world's biggest solar powerplants!
+2
Level 59
Apr 24, 2017
Back in 2005 I visited Australia. I thought back then that Australia, with its huge wide open areas of land along with the copious amounts of sun, would be ideal for solar power. I'm surprised at how sluggish they have been to adopt the this technology, when a country like the UK, with it's very unsunny climate, has more capacity.
+2
Level 88
Apr 24, 2017
The UK has about 60% more capacity and 200% more people. Back of the envelope calculations say that Australia produces about twice as much per person. In addition Australia has loads of coal reserves that are easily recoverable. The UK doesn't have that luxury any more.
+2
Level 77
Jul 25, 2019
I'm not sure I agree it's a 'luxury' but it's a perfectly rational economic option. There are plenty of coal reserves in the UK but they're not economically viable to be deep mined and it's

not socially acceptable in a densely populated island to have vast open cast mining, thank goodness.

+2
Level 65
Apr 24, 2017
I can't believe I got it in 15 seconds
+1
Level 65
Nov 5, 2019
Solar power is good where they're efficient. But a big negative to them is that they have low lifespan and therefor produce a lot of waste. Toxic waste too, which we don't know where to dispose yet.
+1
Level 32
Nov 5, 2019
i got 9/10 when my timer went up and i had already written "ital" for italy -_-
+1
Level 41
Nov 5, 2019
Got all 10 first try in 0:25
+2
Level 67
Nov 5, 2019
I think this might show that nationalism limits energy efficiency. Nobody planning an energy system for the whole world would think of putting so many solar panels in the UK of all places. Australia and parts of the US and China, yes. There are of course limits to how far energy can be transported without significant loss, but the countries that would benefit most from solar energy if only they had the money are burning fossil fuels while the countries where solar energy is the least economic are trying to harvest it regardless of whether there is any or not. Though in the case of the UK at least we really ought to just build offshore wind turbines and look into the possibility of tidal power in some places. As far as I can tell the only real barriers to this are lack of will and bureaucracy.
+1
Level 34
Jan 29, 2020
100% First Try! :D
+1
Level 40
Dec 31, 2020
missed south korea :(
+5
Level 62
Mar 5, 2022
nobody is gonna talk about vietnam?? wtf
+6
Level 55
Mar 7, 2022
dang Vietnam
+1
Level 88
Mar 11, 2022
Pretty easy for me.
+5
Level 49
Mar 11, 2022
Woah, what happened with Vietnam?
+3
Level 73
Mar 11, 2022
When I saw the number from Vietnam I thought someone spammed random keys for it
+3
Level 77
Mar 11, 2022
Way to go Vietnam!
+1
Level 65
Dec 19, 2022
Why is there an exclamation point for the "Changes since 2016" for Vietnam, as well as a space before it?