Today, a number of countries are leading in the harnessing of solar power by capturing the sun’s energy. Once viewed as a niche market, today these countries are leading the effort for renewable energy for the world’s search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

As of 2021, China still leads the way as the world’s top producer of solar energy, installing more than 30.1 GW (gigawatt) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2019, bringing its total installed capacity to 205.2 GW. As the nation with the largest population and carbon footprint, this is encouraging.

In effect, China kept its market leader position representing 27% of the total global installations, However this is a decrease from just two years prior when China’s market share was 51%.

The vast majority of photovoltaic products, or solar panels (picture) are being installed in remote areas by giant solar farms that sell the energy to utilities. Satellite imagery shows the incredible growth of the enormous solar farms that continue to pop up all over China.

The United States has continued to improve its commitment to alternative energy sources due in great part to substantial government incentives given to the residential sector, which is a fast-growing market segment. As of the same year 2019, the total new installed capacity came to 13.3 GW which raised the U.S. to 75.9 GW in cumulative installed capacity, commanding second place.

India is 3rd, Japan is 4th, and Vietnam is 5th.

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