Germany soars ahead of US to break world solar power record



Countries are praised for all sorts of features desirable to its citizens, such as quality of education and access to healthcare. It’s no surprise that topping the list these days are categories related to the environment, with leaders on the world stage touting their country’s clean air quality or innovative use of solar-generated power.

Recently, Germany was named the leader in solar power, setting a new world record in 2013 by producing 5.1 terawatt-hours. Leaving the US lagging behind with a staggering 0.764 TWh and placing them 20th in the world for per capita solar capacity. In an article on, the author laments the inexcusable poor show for a superpower like the US:

“Just imagine if the U.S. got to even half of Germany’s installed based per capita; that would supercharge the solar industry and probably help drive down solar costs much lower than they are now, making further solar adoption around the world much faster than it otherwise would be. That’s the kind of virtuous cycle that we need to clean up electricity generation worldwide.”

With about 400 MW of solar power capacity per million people at the end of 2012, Germany has been dominating other countries for a few years now, including runner-up Italy (267 MW) and Belgium (254 MW) in third place. For comparison, the US pegs its numbers at 25 MW per million people, far below any of the other nations tallied.

Is it surprising that you don’t need a sunny, desert climate to optimize the use of solar power? Do you think the United States has a responsibility to adopt more solar energy?

Picture from: Cache