Historically, I have created reports on the world’s solar power per capita and wind power per capita leaders. However, I’m a bit late getting to those this year. So, I was happy to find on Renewables International that Switzerland’s SolarSuperState Association now produces these as well.
As is always the case, these relative rankings (which I prefer) make some unexpected countries shine, and make some big countries look like laggards.
Interestingly, Liechtenstein (which is, admittedly, tiny) now leads the pack in the solar power per capita rankings, with Germany (the clear leader for years) close behind, and Italy solidly in third. China and the USA barely make it on the list.
On the wind front (no pun intended), there is admittedly some confusion and apparent errors. “Denmark Kingdom” is #1… err, what? Denmark is very likely #1, followed by the UK, but it’s not clear what SolarSuperState has done to end up with “Denmark Kingdom” (which is also in the solar rankings above). Anyhow, Sweden shows up next, which is not too surprising considering its strong presence in previous years, and then several other European countries (Spain, Ireland, Germany, and Portugal). The USA and China are again on the list, but certainly not superstars.
Naturally, the “Denmark Kingdom” error means that I really need to do the wind report still (and probably put this higher on my ~70-item long-term to-do list… which seems to only grow), but the other big reason I’m eager to do these reports is that I go beyond per capita rankings — I also like to rank the countries per GDP and relative to electricity production (when I have enough data). As Craig Morris aptly writes, “per capita rankings are not the best metric. Americans, for instance, consumed several times more electricity than Germans, so in terms of ambition and commitment we should cut the US number in half for that comparison.”