Chart: Which nations get over 10% of their power from solar?

Hint: Not the U.S or China.

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Canary Media’s chart of the week translates crucial data about the clean energy transition into a visual format. Canary thanks Natural Power for its support of this feature.

Solar energy generation around the world grew by 23 percent last year, according to Ember’s 2022 Global Electricity Review. Six countries generated more than 10 percent of their electricity from solar in 2021, and several others are getting close to that level.

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The small European country of Luxembourg has integrated the most solar into its grid mix, nearly 18 percent. The nation has been aggressive in installing large-scale solar projects, and last year it announced more tax cuts for home solar installations.

Yemen, second on the list, has taken a very different path to build up its solar capacity. For seven years, the country has been mired in a civil war that has decimated its electrical grid. Only about three-quarters of the population has access to electricity, and only about 10 percent has access to centralized grid electricity. Distributed solar energy has become a lifeline in the country, particularly for farmers.

Chile is No. 3 in total share of electricity from solar, and it is only beginning to tap its massive solar potential. The country is home to the Atacama Desert, which has the world’s highest solar irradiation level. The Chilean government has big plans to become a solar energy exporter; last year, it unveiled an ambitious scheme to export solar energy to China via submarine cable.

Globally, solar provided nearly 4 percent of all electricity in 2021. That share will need to increase manyfold to get the world on a path to net-zero emissions by midcentury: Solar power needs to be providing 19 percent of the world’s electricity by 2030 and 33 percent by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.

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Natural Power is a global consultancy that supports its clients to deliver a wide range of renewable energy projects. Its independent engineering experience covers all phases of the project lifecycle, from feasibility through construction to operations, and all stages of the transaction. Learn more.

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Maria Virginia Olano is editorial and research associate at Canary Media.