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Clean Power

Top Solar Power Countries Per Capita & Per GDP (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

–> Update: Also see the new top solar power countries vs top US solar states rankings.

Following up on my top solar power state rankings, below are rankings of the top solar power countries per capita and per GDP. These solar power by country rankings are key to seeing who the solar power leaders are in relative terms. It’s great that giant countries like the US and China are investing in solar, but how do their investments really compare when we compare to country populations and GDP? That’s the important question — that is, if we want to identify who is really leading the world with aggressive solar power policies and incentives.

Before jumping in to the country rankings, as I included in my articles yesterday, here are a handful of related rankings I’ve created:

For all solar power rankings below, solar power capacity data come from EPIA’s 2012 Photovoltaic Barometer report. The population numbers come from Internet World Stats (IWS) and the GDP numbers come from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On to the solar power country rankings….

Total Solar Power By Country Per Capita

solar by country ranking per capita total solar

Click to embiggen.
Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

New Solar Power By Country Per Capita

solar power by country population new solar

Click to embiggen.
Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

Total Solar Power By Country Per GDP

solar power by country ranking GDP total solar

Click to embiggen.
Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

New Solar Power By Country Per GDP

solar power by country GDP new solar chart

Click to embiggen.
Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

Initial Thoughts

1. Germany is still the clear solar power leader per capita (total solar power capacity).

2. Italy, Belgium, and the Czech Republic are still clearly #2, #3, and #4 in that category.

3. Solar power country leaders per capita are almost entirely European countries. The only others in the top 20 are Australia (#8), Japan (#14), Israel (#17), US (#20).

4. Per GDP, however, Germany falls to #3, as Bulgaria and the Czech Republic take #1 and #2, respectively. Australia and the US, of course, fall further down the list.

5. Bulgaria was the solar superstar of the year. Crushing all other countries in new solar power capacity per GDP and per capita, Bulgaria was a notable solar leader that you really don’t hear much about.

6. Germany, Greece, and Denmark also had very strong showings in new solar power capacity per capita, and additional European countries such as Slovenia, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and perhaps Switzerland had strong results in this arena (relative to other countries). The US came in at #14 in this category.

7. Per GDP, aside from Bulgaria running away with the title like Usain Bolt vs a college athlete, Greece, Slovenia, Germany, and Italy had relatively good results. Belgium, Denmark, and Ukraine were in the next grouping with mediocre to good results. After that, the trail-off is pretty clear. The US came in at #23 in this category.

Those are my main thoughts. Clearly, the solar policies of numerous European countries have made them solar leaders in more ways than one. Some other countries have had mediocre policies and results, nothing spectacular. Your thoughts?

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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