How Much Solar Energy Is Consumed Per Capita? (1965-2019)

Press play above to watch how per capita solar energy consumption increases over 54 years.

How Much Solar Energy is Consumed Per Capita?

The long history of solar energy use dates as far back as 4,000 B.C.—when ancient civilizations would use solar architecture to design dwellings that would use more of the sun’s warmth in the winter while reducing excess heat in the summer.

But despite its long history, we’ve only recently started to rely on solar energy as a renewable power source. This Our World in Data visualization pulls data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy to highlight how solar energy consumption per capita has grown in countries around the world over 54 years.

Solar Success: The Top Consumers Per Capita

Solar energy consumption is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh)—and as of the latest estimates, Australia leads the world in terms of highest solar energy consumption per capita at 1,764 kWh in 2019. A combination of factors help achieve this:

  • Optimal weather conditions
  • High gross domestic product (GDP) per capita
  • Tariffs incentivizing the shift to solar

In fact, government subsidies such as financial assistance with installation and feed-in tariffs help bring down the costs of residential solar systems to a mere AUD$1 (US$0.70) per watt.

Rank Country Solar consumption per capita
(kWh, 2019)
Solar’s share of total
(per capita consumption)
#1 Australia 1,764 2.50%
#2 Japan 1,469 3.59%
#3 Germany 1,409 3.22%
#4 UAE 1,056 0.77%
#5 Italy 995 3.40%
#6 Greece 936 3.08%
#7 Belgium 847 1.30%
#8 Chile 823 3.39%
#9 U.S. 815 1.02%
#10 Spain 797 2.34%
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Disclosure: This material has been distributed for informational purposes only. It is the opinion of the author and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any ...

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