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The Best Spots in Britain, Europe and the World for Solar Panels

Anyone looking to get the most out of their solar panels will be keen to accurately answer ‘which parts of the world get the most sunshine?’.

Thanks to these maps from Solargis, it’s easier than ever to predict where the sun will shine the most and pick out the most successful areas for solar PV electricity generation.

It won’t come as any surprise that areas closer to the equator tend to have greater potential than anywhere else.  

Take for example, Scandinavia, Northern Canada, and Russia. They all tend to see below 2.0 kWh/m2 a day. Meanwhile over in South America and Africa, that figure more than triples to more than 7 kWh/m2.

Some of these sun-blessed areas may be considered economically poorer than other parts of the world, but with continued advancement in solar technology, they could be sitting on an energy goldmine over time.

The UK

Starting with the home turf, it should be a given that the most sun-kissed spots of the UK can be found at the foot of the nation.

The UK may not be known for being particularly sunny, but the situation begins to become notably brighter once you dip below Birmingham and Leicester, with Oxford and Cambridge approaching 2.8 kWh/m2 a day on average, according to this map based on figures gathered between 1994 and 2018.

It’s the south coast where you’ll catch the most sun though, with the likes of Southampton, Brighton and Plymouth in the running for the title of ‘Britain’s sunniest spots’.

That said, the most westerly parts of Wales certainly compete, with the likes of St. David’s and Abersoch receiving a similar level of sun (3 kWh/m2).  


How about Europe and the rest of the world?

Looking at the wider continent, Europe is not the obvious candidate to be the world leader in solar PV electricity generation.

However, the southernmost parts of countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece had the potential to harvest around 5 kWh/m2 in 2020.

Map of Europe with long-term GHL levels outlined in colour code. The most southern parts like Spain and Portugal are red whilst France, Germany and Italy are more yellow and green.

Globally, it was countries in Northern Africa, South America, and Australia that topped the charts, attracting between 6 and 7 kWh/m2.

World Map with long-term GHL levels outlined in colour code. Africa, Australia and South America are mostly red and orange whilst Europe and Russia is green and yellow.

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Banner photo: ChelseaUnsplash

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