Tag Archives: solar energy

Electrifying world with Solar: How much Surface Area required?

Electricity powers our daily lives and drives economic growth, so it’s no surprise that some countries consume more electricity than others. According to recent data, the top 10 countries with the highest total electricity consumption are China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. These countries have high demand for electricity due to factors such as large populations, industrialization, and economic development.

It has been an interesting exercise to mathematically assume how much surface area would be required to install solar panels in these countries to meet their electricity needs. However, please do understand that this article is purely an interesting hypothesis and not a concrete recommendation in any sense. It’s just a mere area-based assumption to see how much land we might need to electrify a country or this entire world.

China, the United States, and India are the largest consumers of electricity globally, with China alone accounting for almost 20% of total global electricity consumption. Russia, Japan, and Germany also have large and developed economies, which contribute to their high levels of electricity consumption. South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Canada also consume relatively large amounts of electricity due to their populations, industrial bases, and economic development. I assume that you possess the basic understanding that electricity consumption doesn’t necessarily reflect a country’s prosperity or well-being, but it is a significant indicator of economic and industrial activity.

Top 10 countries with the highest total electricity consumption (2019):

  1. China – 9,596 billion kWh
  2. United States – 4,178 billion kWh
  3. India – 3,599 billion kWh
  4. Russia – 1,295 billion kWh
  5. Japan – 1,196 billion kWh
  6. Germany – 647 billion kWh
  7. South Korea – 593 billion kWh
  8. Iran – 423 billion kWh
  9. Saudi Arabia – 358 billion kWh
  10. Canada – 347 billion kWh

Again, I am referring my last quote before banging on the complete article is that the ranking of countries by electricity consumption may change depending on the data source and time frame being considered for these assumptions. It is also important to remember that a country’s electricity consumption does not necessarily reflect its level of development or well-being.”.

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How the cost of solar energy changed over time?

The cost of solar power has decreased significantly over time, making it more competitive with fossil fuels in many parts of the world. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has decreased by more than 80% since 2010, and it is expected to continue to decline in the coming years.

There are several factors that have contributed to the decrease in the cost of solar power, including:

  1. Technological improvements: Solar PV technology has improved significantly over the years, with more efficient cells and modules being developed. This has helped to reduce the cost of solar power by increasing the amount of electricity that can be generated from a given amount of solar panels.
  2. Economies of scale: As the demand for solar power has increased, the production of solar panels and other components has increased, leading to economies of scale and lower costs.
  3. Government incentives: Many governments around the world have implemented policies and incentives to encourage the adoption of solar power, such as subsidies, tax credits, and feed-in tariffs. These measures have helped to reduce the upfront cost of solar power for consumers and businesses.
  4. Increased competition: As the solar industry has grown, the number of companies producing solar panels and other components has increased, leading to increased competition and lower prices.

It is worth noting that the cost of solar power can vary significantly depending on the location and the specific circumstances of each project. Factors such as the quality of the solar resource, the cost of financing, and the availability of subsidies and incentives can all affect the cost of solar power.

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