Energy from the sun is free for everyone and there is lots of it. In fact, over 70 percent of us live in countries with the right natural conditions for solar power - even if it doesn’t always seem like it. Even on a cloudy day, solar panels can still generate electricity and power your home with cleaner energy. And since most homes that use solar remain connected to the local energy grid, you’ll still enjoy reliable electric power at night.
New technologies and government subsidies have dramatically reduced the cost of installing solar and more people are choosing solar.
Installing solar panels or a solar hot water system in your home will save you money and cut your carbon emissions.
Countries in the favorable middle range of average daily PV potential between 3.5 and 4.5 kWh/kWp account for 71% of the global population.
More people are choosing solar. Residential solar matched commercial solar for the share of solar PV net capacity installations in 2020.
Research shows that when you instal solar panels, your friends and neighbors are more likely to do the same.
The typical solar fraction for residential solar heating systems is between 50% and 70% in the EU and US.
Rooftop solar is spreading as the cost of panels falls, driven by incentives to accelerate growth, economies of scale in manufacturing, and advances in PV technology.
Hot water for showers, laundry, and washing dishes consumes a quarter of residential energy use worldwide. Solar water heating—exposing water to the sun to warm it—can reduce that fuel consumption by 50 to 70 percent.
Globally, the levelized cost of energy for residential solar photovoltaics (PV) fell between 2010 and 2019, with markets showing a 42% to 79% cost decline.
Photovoltaic Geographical Information System
Impact metric calculations
To determine the carbon emission reduction estimates related to switching to using solar power, the following calculation was performed:
Solar Panels: (# of people in the household) x (total electric energy in kWh) x (county-specific kg CO2e/kWh for electricity) = kg CO2e / month
Solar Water Heating: (# of people in the household) x (water heating non-electric energy in kWh) x (fuel and country-specific kg CO2e/kWh) x (60% reduction in fuel use) = kg CO2e / month
Total: Solar Panels + Solar Water Heating = kg CO2e / month
For detailed calculations, references and assumptions, please see our Methodology.