While the United States isn’t reaching its solar power potential, new information from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association makes it clear that over the past year growth has been substantial worldwide.
In 2009, stymied by floundering economies, the growth of solar panel capacity was 7.2 gigawatts (GW). However, 2010 brought lower solar panel prices and more subsidies, resulting in 16 more GW of solar power. That puts the growth for the year up 70% from 2009.
Europe led the way in terms of growth, contributing 13 of the 16 total GW. Of that number, Germany and Italy accounted for 7 GW and 3 GW, respectively.
The Czech Republic rang in with .5 GW, Spain with .4 GW, Belgium with .25 GW, and Greece with .2 GW.
The United States was behind Japan (1 GW) with only .08 GW of new solar panel power. China was estimated to have contributed .4 GW of power.
Since 2007 the costs of solar panel prices have dropped significantly—down from $3.7 per watt to $1.8 per watt in 2010.
Hopefully, this means the growth of the solar power industry will continue to appeal to countries worldwide in the years ahead.
Photo Credit: Ted Murphy via Flickr CC