National Geographic : 2009 Sep
532 SOUTH AFRICA 4 SENEGAL 105 CHINA SOUTH KOREA 31 31 AUSTRALIA 19 INDIA 2 ERITREA FOUR OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES 5 2,220 GERMANY 125 SPAIN 35 ITALY 35 NETHERLANDS 23 SWITZERLAND 22 FRANCE 21 LUXEMBOURG 15 AUSTRIA 21 SEVEN OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES China It lags in generating solar electricity but has invested heavily in solar water heaters. Germany Cloudy skies haven't stopped it from doggedly transforming itself into the global solar leader. SOLAR RADIATION SUITABLE FOR USE IN CONCENTRATING- SOLAR PLANTS 6 POPULATED AREAS 7 8 KILOWATT-HOURS PER SQUARE METER PER DAY 0mi 100 0km 100 MOJAVE DESERT Los Angeles San Diego Orem Provo Grand Junction Sacramento Reno Las Vegas Phoenix Tucson UTAH NEVADA CALIFORNIA ARIZONA NEW MEXICO COLORADO U.S. MEXICO THE SOLAR SOUTHWEST Solar advocates say the desert Southwest could light the entire U.S. Thousands of square miles there (colored areas) are not only sunny but also flat and undeveloped enough for concentrating- solar plants. Some environ- mentalists oppose the land- and water-hungry projects and the new transmission lines that would be needed.