Emissions-Free Tesla Model S Road Trip In China – Video


Perhaps A Bit Of A Stretch, But Electric Cars Would Make For A Cleaner Planet

Perhaps A Bit Of A Stretch, But Electric Cars Would Make For A Cleaner Planet

Over the weekend, Tesla Motors released a video showcasing a Model S road trip in China.

Video description:

“20 Chinese Model S owners set off on a road trip to explore East China driving through historic towns and picturesque tea fields making stops at charging stations along the way.”

The focus of the video is on how electric cars are cleaner than ICE and how by driving electric, you get actual freedom in China. The video uses the example of China’s restricted-driving laws, which limit either where an ICE car can drive or on which days ICE cars can be driven.

By going electric, driver typically bypass these laws, thus gaining freedom to drive as they choose.

Category: Tesla, Videos

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24 responses to "Emissions-Free Tesla Model S Road Trip In China – Video"
  1. Speculawyer says:

    Bioweapons defense mode will come in handy there.

  2. Jychevyvolt says:

    How can it be emission free when their grid is dirty?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Don’t tell Tesla fans that.

      That is especially the case in China where the emission is similar to a 30 mpg car.

      Prius would have been cleaner in China based on the Chinese dirty grid.

      1. Michael Will says:

        Where does the electricity come from that is used to refine the gas ? Elon estimated about 5kWh per gallon of gas – by simply not making and distributing that you can drive like 20 miles already

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Where does the electricity come from that is used to refine the gas ? Elon estimated about 5kWh per gallon of gas – by simply not making and distributing that you can drive like 20 miles already”

          Most of that electricity are generated onsite. The number is actually much lower tan 5kWh. It is more like 2kWh per gallon.

          EVs transmission loses about 7%, EVSE or chargers cost another 10-15% according to EPA. So, that is 16.3% right there is loss.

          16.3% on a 90kWh battery is 14.67kWh which is way more than 20 miles of range.

          Transportation of gasoline will take some energy but there is very little gasoline loss in the process to the tank of the Prius.

          Regardless of how each process has their own loss. The facts remains that due to the dirty Chinese power plants, driving EVs in China today isn’t cleaner than a high MPG hybrid.

          When that grid gets cleaner, so will the EVs. Until then, it isn’t cleaner at all. And China isn’t everywhere. So in other countries with low coal based generations, EVs will be cleaner. However, we are talking about Tesla in China here.

          1. sveno says:

            I have to disagree here. Your points are valid but the “well to wheel” calculations don’t add up to what you propose. Yes, using a coal power plant with an inefficient grid does not yield in a bright mpg number but I have not seen it to be worse than even compared to a smaller sized hybrid.

            On another point – a huge portion of Model S/X owners are also house owners who have solar panels.

            In any case – when we look at the lifecycle of a car, there are significant chance that the well to wheel MPGe number will only go up whereas with an ICE car it will only go down due to wear and tear.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              “I have to disagree here. Your points are valid but the “well to wheel” calculations don’t add up to what you propose. Yes, using a coal power plant with an inefficient grid does not yield in a bright mpg number but I have not seen it to be worse than even compared to a smaller sized hybrid.”

              Did you check out the UCS study on US grid emission?

              The dirtiest state in the US grid with heavy coal only yields a mpg equivalent of 34 MPG…

              So, yes, higher mpg hybrids are better than 34 mpg. That is UCS studies.

        2. Pete says:

          As we learned in the recent article here PM10 Emissions:
          •A positive relationship exists between vehicle weight and non-exhaust emissions.
          •Electric vehicles are 24% heavier than their conventional counterparts.
          •Electric vehicle PM emissions are comparable to those of conventional vehicles.
          •Non-exhaust sources account for 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 from traffic.
          •Future policy should focus on reducing vehicle weight.

          So Tesla is one dirty EV manufacturer. Heavy cars, more PM10 emissions, emissions for manufacturing more battery, more space need for transport.
          And all Tesla shiped to Europe comes with 2000 liters per vehicle heavy oil, yummy :-).

  3. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Sorry to burst one of the owner’s bubble. He said that if everyone drives a Tesla in China, the blue sky will return in China…

    Well, unless they are cleaning up their power plants, reduce coal usage and clean up all the industrial emission, Tesla will not bring back the blue sky “alone”.

    Yes, it will make a big difference inside the city. But it is ONLY PART OF THE SOLUTION!

    1. Anon says:

      Would you rather the Chinese continue to burn hydrocarbon based fuels inefficiently in there cars? I don’t get what your negativity is in regards this ad, other than it’s by Tesla. It’s on target and accurate. As you know, burning coal for electricity and running an EV is _STILL_ cleaner than using gasoline for mobility.

      China’s grid continues to evolve, and they’ve planned for a 143 GW Solar Expansion target by 2020. Maybe encouraging BEVs– even if they’re Tesla’s, might be a more productive use of your time?

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “Would you rather the Chinese continue to burn hydrocarbon based fuels inefficiently in there cars? I don’t get what your negativity is in regards this ad, other than it’s by Tesla. ”

        No, the interview itself shows some of the so called “benefit” is that PEVs such as Tesla aren’t restricted by local government. It is sort of like HOV sticker in California. The owners feel “entitled” to get around government restriction.

        “It’s on target and accurate. As you know, burning coal for electricity and running an EV is _STILL_ cleaner than using gasoline for mobility.”

        Not back up by facts. With the current Chinese grid of using 77%+ in coal, the emission of EVs are similar to a car in the low 30s mpg. So, a hybrid (non plug in) like Prius is actually indeed have better emission than any EVs based on Chinese dirty coal grid.

        “China’s grid continues to evolve, and they’ve planned for a 143 GW Solar Expansion target by 2020. Maybe encouraging BEVs– even if they’re Tesla’s, might be a more productive use of your time?”

        Yes, Chinese renewable energy growth is among the leaders of the world. Solar and Wind are both near if not the top of the world. But the facts still remains that majority of the grid is still dirty coal. In fact, brown coal which is the dirtiest form of coal. So, unless they are exclusively charged by solar/wind in China, it isn’t helping by the lax regulation of the Chinese energy sector.

        The facts speak for themselves in this case for China which is unique. Hopefully in the near future for the sake of Chinese and global citizens that would change. But in the near future, the high coal content of Chinese grid is in fact powering those Tesla or any other EVs…

        1. Mikael says:

          2015 numbers are 73% of chinese electricity coming from fossil fuels. Coal stands for 69% of the total electricity generated.

          China are also one of the most aggressive reducers of coal and installers of hydro, other renewables and nuclear so expect those numbers to drop fast.
          They are also very aggressively closing down coal plants in or near big cities.

          My point? Even if someone could factually correct claim that buying a Prius hybrid today could be cleaner than a Tesla (or another EV) there is no way someone could argue that for the local environment (e.g. “seeing the blue sky”) nor for the lifetime of the car.

          Other than that I totally agree on the “there is lots more work to do” than just EVs.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “My point? Even if someone could factually correct claim that buying a Prius hybrid today could be cleaner than a Tesla (or another EV) there is no way someone could argue that for the local environment (e.g. “seeing the blue sky”) nor for the lifetime of the car.”

            I agree with your general idea.

            However, I have my doubts on whether China can clean up quickly enough to offset those emission in 1 generation of cars. Maybe the next generation.

            As far as local environment goes, Chinese power plants are notorious for its emission especially with brown coals which are far worse than automotive emissions. They often blank the cities downstream so, even if EVs are covered in the cities, the nearby industrial plants and power plants will cause major air pollution down stream.

            Beijing only got cleaned up for short period of times during major international events due to shutting down nearby power plants and industries rather than just limit cars inside the city…

    2. It seems to me that China’s Coal Pollution problem is even more an issue of Traditional Free Coal Burning stoves, that number still in the Hundred of Thousands, to which they are pushing hard to move to Electric Stoves where the grid is, and I believe they are also pushing for Natural Gas Stoves to replace Coal burning for cooking, as well.

      So, even on insideEV’s.com, I hear the message that Natural Gas is Cleaner than Coal, and Natural Gas fired Generation is cleaner than Coal Generation of Electricity, and – in China, when they decide a direction to go, as in cleaning up their grid, they will put a much larger effort to that, than many other countries.

      Their issue is largely trying to push 150 years of progress into 50 years, which is why they grew so many Coal Fired Generation plants so fast. Now that they gave created so many such plants, they also have been greatly instrumental in driving down the cost of Solar PV, more than USA, hence Solyndra’s excuse for failure, as the price fell so fast on their watch, that they could not adjust their business model fast enough to compete, and went Bankrupt!

      If PV still cost the over $100 per Watt per panel, as it did back in the 1970’s, we would not have even 1 MW of it installed on Terra Firms today! Luckilly, it is now down below $3 per Watt, installed, at small scale residential, today, and price per Watt at the panel, has dropped below $1.65 on smaller orders of panels; with Large Multiple MW installations now quoting installed costs of below a Buck/Watt!

      At such prices now, Solar is already competitive with Traditional Grid Power Generation, making it a winning Business Case, as a choice that did not exist just 3 Years Ago: and Solar PV is overtaking many other forms of Newly Installed Power Generation, already.

      If China has programs that currently favor EV’s, how long will it be, that they offer even more benefits to EV owners that install their own Solar PV at Home? Since there have been many stories about EV + PV is the correct combination for clean transportation, how long will it take to make the benefits to be tied together – in China, and in the USA?

      Ontario, Canada, has moved away from Coal in under a decade, and we had a lot of Coal Generated Power! The big question for the USA would be, how long before WV, and other Coal Producing States, can find better paying Jobs for Coal Miners, and will they take them? Since we know Coal mines are being put out of Business here, and even though Trump promises more Coal Produced Electricity, he might not successfully accomplish that, inspite of his figuring he will win for Presidentcy! With his desire to continue the traditions of Coal, will the World put more pressure on him to leave it behind?

      1. 10 States That Burn The Most Coal -http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/states-burn-the-most-coal_us_56097dbae4b0af3706dd2cf2
        “Burning coal produces a variety of unhealthy particulates and roughly twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas. Some states generate tremendous amounts of energy from coal and use coal as a main power source. In West Virginia, all but 4.5% of the state’s electricity comes from fuel. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states burning the most coal in the country.”: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/09/14/10-states-burning-the-most-coal/

        Continuing from the Huffington Post story: “Last year, 27.4% of the nation’s electricity came from natural gas-burning power plants, compared to 17.1% in 2001. In addition, the steadily increased use of solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources, has meant a decline in coal usage. In 2004, the country generated nearly 2 million gigawatt-hours (GWh) from coal. Last year, the country generated 1.58 million GWh from the fossil fuel. This shift is true of some of the largest coal-burning states as well.

        In Pennsylvania, for example, the share of electricity generation from coal out of total production fell by 20 percentage points from 2001 to 2014. Natural gas, meanwhile, jumped from just 1.5% of total production to 23.7% over the same period.”

        The Top 10:

        10. Florida
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:52,046 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:231,062 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 22.5%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 61.0%

        9. Michigan
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:53,086 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:105,821 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 50.2%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 10.9%

        8. Missouri
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:72,746 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:88,074 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 82.6%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 4.5%

        7. West Virginia
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:77,510 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:81,162 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 95.5%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 0.8%

        6. Pennsylvania
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:80,067 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:221,709 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 36.1%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 23.7%

        5. Kentucky
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:83,497 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:90,737 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 92.0%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 2.7%

        4. Illinois
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:87,371 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:202,352 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 43.2%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 2.7%

        3. Ohio
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:90,163 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:134,602 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 67.0%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 17.6%

        2. Indiana
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:97,729 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:115,634 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 84.5%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 8.3%

        1. Texas
        > 2014 coal electricity generation:148,174 GWh
        > 2014 total electricity generation:437,236 GWh
        > Coal as pct. total electricity generation: 33.9%
        > Natural Gas as pct. electricity generation: 46.8%

        These figures are just 2014 snapshots, please follow the links to see which states are trending down in coal:
        and their source:

        If you follow to the Huff. Post article, for instance, you will get additional nuggets, like: “Even though Texas generates more electricity from coal than any other state, coal is not the largest contributor to the state’s energy production. Nearly 47% of energy in Texas was generated by natural gas. Coal accounted for about 34% of the state’s energy mix. In order to meet the high energy demand across the state, Texas is also at the forefront of one renewable energy source. Last year, the state generated 37,400 GWh from wind, more than any other state in the country.”

        It would, of course, be even more interesting, for this story to add all the renewable sources in 2014, and their trends, for us here, but it is a start, and if we could find a story like this, for China, even more on point to this thread!

  4. Thomassen says:

    China is leader in renewable energy at the moment, ofcourse they have dirty coal plants but most countries have.

    1. Mikael says:

      Nope. Most countries are actually free from coal plants.

      And out of the countries with coal plants 10 of them account for closer to 90% of total coal for electricity generation.

      I’m sure you can guess the 10 countries, all of them infamous for their coal use and massive polluters.

    2. Well, I didn’t seacr for ‘most’, only for top 10:

      What Are The Top 10 Coal-Burning Countries on the Planet? Who’s #1?

      “When it comes to global warming and air pollution, coal is enemy #1. We were curious to know which countries burned the most, so we compiled a list of the top 10 coal-burning countries in the world based on the latest statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). We chose not to use per capita numbers because the atmosphere doesn’t care about that; in the end, all that matters is absolutely numbers.”

      #10 South-Korea 112,843 thousand short tons,
      #9 Poland 149,333 thousand short tons,
      #8 Australia 160,515 thousand short tons,
      #7 South Africa: 193,654 thousand short tons,
      #6 Japan: 203,979 thousand short tons,
      #5 Russia: 269,684 thousand short tons,
      #4 Germany: 269,892 thousand short tons,
      #3 India: 637,522 thousand short tons,
      #2 USA: 1,121,714 thousand short tons,
      #1 China: 2,829,515 thousand short tons

      “According to the U.S. Department of Energy:

      Carbon dioxide (CO2) forms during coal combustion when one atom of carbon (C) unites with two atoms of oxygen (O) from the air. Because the atomic weight of carbon is 12 and that of oxygen is 16, the atomic weight of carbon dioxide is 44. Based on that ratio, and assuming complete combustion, 1 pound of carbon combines with 2.667 pounds of oxygen to produce 3.667 pounds of carbon dioxide. For example, coal with a carbon content of 78 percent and a heating value of 14,000 Btu per pound emits about 204.3 pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu when completely burned. Complete combustion of 1 short ton (2,000 pounds) of this coal will generate about 5,720 pounds (2.86 short tons) of carbon dioxide.”

      More important:
      “Danger! World Coal Consumption is Going Up Rapidly
      According to the EIA numbers, between 2004 and 2008, total world consumption of coal went from 6,259,645,000 to 7,238,208,000 short tons. That’s a 15.6% increase of the most carbon-intensive kind of fuel in just 4 years. Ouch.”

      In relationship to this story, 2008 is, I believe, the first year anyone could buy any of the current, or recent, EV’s, in the form of the Tesla Roadster!

      1. Sorry, I forgot to date the link in the above story: it was published April 26, 2010!

        A more recent link of a similar subject:
        “The world’s biggest coal consumers – 26 August 2014”

        “The top ten coal consuming countries account for over 85% of the world’s total coal consumption, with China alone consuming as much as rest of the world together. Mining-technology.com profiles the ten biggest coal consumers based on latest coal consumption and production data.”

        From the biggest users, to the smallest, in the top 10 – from this source:

        China #1, China’s coal consumption grew by four percent to 2.75 billion tonnes in 2013 accounting for over half of the world’s total coal consumption in the year. China is also by far the biggest coal producer accounting for about 47.4% of the world’s coal output in 2013.

        Coal accounts for over 65% of total energy consumption in the country. China, the most populous and the biggest energy consuming country, is also the world’s biggest coal importer followed by Japan and India.

        United States of America #2, The US, a net exporter of coal, consumed 651 million tonnes of coal in 2013 accounting for about 12% of the world’s total coal consumption. It is also the second biggest coal producing country having accounted for about 13% of global coal production in 2013.

        The country’s year-on-year coal consumption was on a declining trend between 2010 and 2012, but increased by 4.6% in 2013 due to higher electricity demand and a rise in natural gas prices. Coal accounted for about 39% of USA’s electricity generation in 2013.
        The country’s coal consumption is, however, expected to fall in 2015 as a number of coal-fired power plants are scheduled to retire in compliance with the implementation of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

        India #3, India burnt 463.28mt of coal in 2013 accounting for about 8.5% of the world’s total coal consumption. It was also the fifth biggest coal producer in 2013 and accounted for about 5.9% of global coal production.

        Coal accounts for about 44% of total energy consumption and 68% of electricity generation in the country. India is the third biggest coal importer after China and Japan, and has witnessed significant growth in imports over the last decade especially from South Africa, Indonesia and Australia.

        Japan #4, Japan’s coal consumption grew by 3.6% to 183.71mt in 2013 accounting for about 3.4% of global coal consumption during the year. The country produced just 1mt of coal in 2013 and is the second biggest coal importer after China.

        Coal accounts for 23% of Japan’s total energy consumption and 27% of the country’s electric generation capacity. Japan was the biggest coal importer for three decades before it was surpassed by China in 2012. Japan’s coal consumption is expected to grow even further as its nuclear power capacity is replaced with coal-fired power plants following the Fukushima accident in 2011.

        Russia #5, Russia’s coal consumption decreased by 4.4% to 133.57mt in 2013 making it the fifth biggest coal consumer, accounting for about 2.4% of the world’s total coal consumption. Russia holds the second biggest coal reserves after the United States, but it was the sixth biggest coal producer contributing approximately 4.3% of global coal output in 2013.

        Fossil fuels including oil and natural gas account for over half of Russia’s electricity generation, while coal accounts for about 14% of the country’s electricity capacity. Russia is the third biggest coal importer after Indonesia and Australia.

        South Africa #6, South Africa burnt 126mt of coal in 2013 comprising about 2.3% of world’s coal consumption during the year. Its coal production in 2013 accounted for 3.7% of global coal output making it the seventh biggest coal producer.

        Coal accounts for more than 90% of the South Africa’s electricity generation and about 70% of its total energy consumption. South Africa is the world’s sixth biggest coal exporting country and exports mostly to China, India and Europe.

        South Korea #7, South Korea’s coal consumption grew by 1.4% to 117mt in 2013, accounting for about 2.1% of global coal consumption. The country produced just over 1mt of coal in 2013 and was the fourth biggest net importer of coal.

        Electric power sector accounts for over 60% of South Korea’s total coal consumption while approximately 30% the capacity is based on coal. Australia, Indonesia, Russia and Canada are the major coal exporters for South Korea.

        Germany #8, Germany consumed 116.14mt of coal in 2013 accounting for about 2.1% of the world’s total coal consumption and produced just over 61mt of coal in the year accounting for about 1.1% of global coal output.

        Germany is a net importer of coal, despite holding the world’s sixth biggest coal reserves and being the biggest brown coal producer. The net imports account for about 24% of Germany’s total primary energy consumption and 43% of electricity generation.

        Poland #9, Poland’s coal consumption increased by 3.6% to 80.14mt accounting for about 1.5% of the world’s total coal consumption in 2013. The country produced 82.28mt of coal during the year, accounting for approximately 1.5% of global coal output.

        Poland is Europe’s second biggest coal consuming country and consumes almost of the coal it produces. Coal accounts for over 75% of the country’s installed electricity capacity. The coal-fired Belchatów power plant in Poland is the world’s fifth biggest thermal power station.

        Indonesia #10, Indonesia’s coal consumption grew by 8.2% to 77.71mt in 2013 accounting for about 1.4% of the world’s total coal consumption. Indonesia’s coal production in 2013 accounted for about 6.7% of global coal output making it the world’s fourth biggest coal producer.

        Indonesia’s coal exports are the world’s fourth biggest and are majorly (75%) exported to China, India, Japan and South Korea. The country’s power sector accounts for about two-third of coal consumed domestically. Indonesia depends on coal for about 48% of electricity generation capacity.

    3. Did a quick search- so some links on top countries using Solar:

      Top 10 Countries Using Solar Power
      By Matthew Wheeland – September 15, 2014

      “We’re keep the 2009 numbers in parentheses as a reference point of just how quickly the world is switching to affordable, clean solar energy.

      One telling point: The solar industry is growing so rapidly that we’ve had to update our units of measurement from megawatts (MW) to gigawatts (GW).”

      “Below are the top 10 countries using solar power in the world according to installed photovoltaic solar (PV) energy capacity.”

      These following points are all directly from the above linked article.

      1. Germany: 35.5 GW
      (2010: 9.8 GW — 1st place)
      In 2010, Germany was clearly the world leader, and has only continued the trend.

      2. China: 18.3 GW
      (2010: .305 GW — 8th Place)
      Everything that China does, it does big. As the world’s most populous nation, and the one with the biggest carbon footprint, it’s great news that China has made such a major commitment to solar power. Since our 2009 research, China has grown its solar capacity by an astounding 6,000 percent — from less than one-third of a gigawatt of capacity to 18.3 GW. It helps that China is a major solar panel manufacturer, and the government has had to repeatedly raise its renewable energy targets — from a plan of 20 GW by 2020 to 20-30 GW by 2020 to the current target of an astounding 70 GW of solar by 2017.

      Coupled with a commitment to cut its coal use, the world’s biggest carbon polluter could soon also be the country powered with the most green energy.

      3. Italy: 17.6 GW
      (2010: 1.2 GW — 5th Place)
      Not only has Italy continued its leadership in solar — rising from fifth place in 2010 to third place as of the end of 2013 — it generates more of its energy from solar than any other nation, with 7.8 percent of its energy coming from solar, compared to 6.2 percent for Germany.

      4. Japan: 13.6 GW
      (2010: 2.6 GW — 3rd Place)
      Japan fell from third place in 2010 to fourth place in 2014, but remains also a country worth emulating — in the past four years the country has grown its solar capacity by more than 500 percent. Government residential PV programs, net-metering, high national solar energy goals to reach 28 GW by 2020 and 53 GW by 2030, as well as the support of local authorities and the private sector make Japan a world leader in this field. In the wake of the the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the country has renewed its dedication to solar power, particularly with the recent announcement of the first of many floating solar farms off the island nation’s coasts.

      5. United States: 12 GW
      (2010: 1.6 GW — 4th Place)
      It’s hard to believe that a country that grew its solar capacity by 750 percent in four years could still have lost standing in the global solar boom, but that just goes to show how quickly the field is changing.

      6. Spain: 5.6 GW
      (2010: 3.4 GW — 2nd Place)
      Spain was the world leader in newly installed PV solar energy (2,605 MW) in 2008 due to the government’s focus on creating a national solar energy industry, but has since dropped significantly — between 2010 and 2013, the country didn’t even double its capacity, whereas Germany nearly quadrupled its solar capacity.

      7. France: 4.6 GW
      (2010: .272 GW — 9th Place)
      France has continued to benefit from its well-designed FiT for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), but the country’s solar growth has been slowed by a lack of political support for solar incentives, which the the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) in a report published earlier in 2014 (PDF) also attributed to attacks from the nuclear and fossil fuel energy industries. (PDF link – http://www.webcitation.org/6QGSvAF7w )

      8. Australia: 3.3 GW
      (2010: .125 GW [Source: http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/analyses ])
      The first of two newcomers to our list of the top 10 countries using solar power, Australia has in the past five years made the most of its sun-drenched status — though its continued growth is in question. At the end of 2009, the island nation claimed only 125 MW of solar capacity, but through smart policies including feed-in tariffs, rebates and a federal mandatory renewable energy target has grown that by 2600 percent, reaching 3.3 gigawatts by the end of 2013. Between steadily dropping solar prices and the fact that Australia boasts some of the greatest solar potential in the world, solar power costs less than half what grid electricity costs, although the current government is considering scaling back the federal Renewable Energy Target, which would slow if not stop the country’s upward trajectory in these lists.

      9. Belgium: 3GW
      (2010: .363 GW — 7th Place)
      Belgium has been a surprising solar contender even since 2009. Belgium’s success was from “a well-designed Green Certificates scheme (which actually works as a Feed-in Tariff), combined with additional tax rebates and electricity self-consumption.” Those policies, coupled with the steady drop in solar panel prices, has kept Belgium growing its solar market year-over-year since 2009.

      10. United Kingdom: 2.9 GW
      (2010: .027 GW [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_the_United_Kingdom#Statistics ])
      Another poster child for the global solar boom, the United Kingdom was nearly a no-show in our 2009 research — it didn’t make the top 10 list by a long shot, with just 27 MW of solar capacity. But it has made quick growth since then, with the EPIA noting that in 2013, the U.K. nearly doubled its solar capacity, installing more even than Italy, the current 5th-place holder.

      Off the List:
      Two of the countries that made the top 10 list in 2010 have fallen behind in the rankings — we’re including them below in the hopes that they make it back on our list in the next go-round…

      12. India: 2.3 GW
      (2010: .120 GW — 10th Place)
      Similar to China, India has fast-increasing electricity demand and it has very high sun irradiation levels. It’s government has also been moving forward strongly on clean energy. It has a goal to reach 20 GW by 2020 as well. “Besides the National Solar Mission of 2009, the market expects much of the possible decision this year to define a longterm power purchase agreement that could definitively trigger PV deployment in India,” EPIA states. India could quickly rise higher on this list with proper government strategies.

      13. Czech Republic
      (2010: 0.47 GW — 6th Place)
      A generous FiT and simple administrative procedures have put the Czech Republic on this list. Per capita, it installed more new solar power than any other country besides Germany in 2009. The market growth has probably boomed unsustainably (and a little unexpectedly), however, and if appropriate policies aren’t put in place to slow it, the nascent solar bubble is expected to bust in the coming years.

      2013 figures come from the IEA Photovoltaic Power System Programme; 2009 figures via the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.
      http://iea-pvps.org/ and

      1. Closer to home, Top 10 Solar States
        Article – http://www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states

        Graphic – “This infographic ranks the Top 10 Solar States based on cumulative solar capacity installed (as of March 2016). It also includes the number of megawatts installed per state and number of houses powered per megawatt of solar added. We also show the rankings “remixed” based on number of solar jobs as of January 2016, solar capacity installed in 2015, solar capacity per capita, and percentage of new electricity generation from solar.”:


        Still some States not listed, like Florida, that could do better!

        twiiter quote: “.@RhoneResch: Right now, there are 27 GW of #solar installed in US. Within the next 5 years, we will nearly triple that”

        1. Jay Cole, I wonder if you could edit the graphic link above to fit a width x height spec in the URL, or at least a width parameter, so it will display without cropping on the right hand side??

          Further info found on Solar:
          “Top Solar Power Countries Per Capita & Per GDP (CleanTechnica Exclusive)”

          “It’s great that giant countries like the US and China are investing in solar, but how do their investments really compare when we compare to country populations and GDP? That’s the important question — that is, if we want to identify who is really leading the world with aggressive solar power policies and incentives.”

          *See linked article for graphed and listed numbers! Lots of comparisons!*

          “Initial Thoughts

          1. Germany is still the clear solar power leader per capita (total solar power capacity).

          2. Italy, Belgium, and the Czech Republic are still clearly #2, #3, and #4 in that category.

          3. Solar power country leaders per capita are almost entirely European countries. The only others in the top 20 are Australia (#8), Japan (#14), Israel (#17), US (#20).

          4. Per GDP, however, Germany falls to #3, as Bulgaria and the Czech Republic take #1 and #2, respectively. Australia and the US, of course, fall further down the list.

          5. Bulgaria was the solar superstar of the year. Crushing all other countries in new solar power capacity per GDP and per capita, Bulgaria was a notable solar leader that you really don’t hear much about.

          6. Germany, Greece, and Denmark also had very strong showings in new solar power capacity per capita, and additional European countries such as Slovenia, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and perhaps Switzerland had strong results in this arena (relative to other countries). The US came in at #14 in this category.

          7. Per GDP, aside from Bulgaria running away with the title like Usain Bolt vs a college athlete, Greece, Slovenia, Germany, and Italy had relatively good results. Belgium, Denmark, and Ukraine were in the next grouping with mediocre to good results. After that, the trail-off is pretty clear. The US came in at #23 in this category.”

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Hey Robert,

            Unfortunately it is a hard cap at 775 pcx wide. The system actually won’t allow pictures larger than that (it auto-moderates/leaves them as links), but we still see the whole pic at our end for potnential “un-moderation”. In this case, ‘most’ of the pic was visible, so I overrode the system to still show what it could (and left the link in for those who wanted to see the whole thing).

            The only other option is to re-size it ourselves and then serve it (or you do the same and re-link)…but then we get into having to check for copyright, etc for us to do that (big pain)

            /suckiness explained, lol

  5. Four Electrics says:

    That Tesla is one of the only emissions-free objects in all of China. A collector’s item!