Last year, the U.S. joined Germany, Italy, China and Japan in producing more than 10 gigawatts of solar production nationwide. Now, other countries have awakened to the opportunity and are on their way to catching up. The popular Scandinavian retailer IKEA has sold $10,000 solar panels in 17 British outlets.
Peru recently started a National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program to connect 2 million of its poorest residents with solar power. In the first phase, 1,601 solar panels were installed to power 126 impoverished communities. The plan is to install about 12,500 photovoltaic systems for 500,000 households at an overall cost of $200 million.
Earth Hour India is helping citizens to switch to solar energy in villages that previously had no electricity. Woodlands stores, in partnership with World Wildlife Foundation-India, has launched a collection drive across the country, inspiring individuals to donate to help light up more than 100 households in three villages in Madhya Pradesh with solar power. The residents had traditionally depended on forest resources for their energy needs.