The IEA has released a short report on solar capacity figures titled “2014 – Snapshot of Global PV Markets“.
Page 12 of the report shows this neat table ranking the top 10 solar countries:
That’s nice, since it shows Germany still at the top spot in cumulative capacity.
On the other hand, Germany will lose this top spot some time this year to China. While the profoundly stupid German policy is to decrease solar deployment speeds just as prices have come down, China is increasing speed as prices come down. Which is of course the obvious thing to do.
Energiewende Germany asked about the numbers per capita. I think that is an interesting question. So I went through the right side column of the top ten and divided by population (numbers from Wikipedia). I also added an estimate of the cost per person at the 2014 average price for solar panels of $ 0.50.
Here is the list I came up with:
1. Germany, 473 W, $236.50
2. Italy, 304 W, $157
3. Belgium, 275 W, $137.5
4. Japan, 184 W, $92
5. Australia, 172 W, $86
6. Spain, 123 W, $61.5
7. France, 85.6 W, $42.8
8. UK, 79.1 W, $39.6
9. US, 56.8 W, $28.4
10. China, 20.7 W, $10.4
Considering that global warming is an existential risk for humanity, those dollar figures are astoundingly low. Remember that these are figures for cumulative capacity, not yearly additions. They are so low that at first sight I suspect that I have somehow miscalculated by an order of magnitude or two. But the last step is a simple division by two. While I am (in contrast to my late father) not a math professor, even a humble lawyer like me should be able to do that much without making any big mistakes.
I also calculated the per capita values for the Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria from the numbers given for their cumulative installations at page 6 of the report. They are 199 W, 240 W, 60 W, and 135 W respectively. Greece at 240 W would make it to rank 4 and beat Japan in the list above, if it had made the top 10 of cumulative capacity in absolute numbers.
Update: Craig Morris points in comments to data relative to peak summer demand for Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United States.