Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Comparing International Solar Capacity

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: Natural resources are not evenly distributed around the world. Geographic features, latitude, and time of year all affect the solar capacity of a region. Different organizations including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the World Bank Group have created an atlas of solar resource data, which anchors this activity.

Similar to the activity Where Does the Sun Shine?, which examines the solar resource in Texas and the United States, this activity zooms out to look at international solar capacity. Use the map linked here, or consult the Global Solar Atlas from the World Bank Group.

  • Which state in the United States has a solar resource most like that of Germany? [Alaska]
  • Which state in the United States has a solar resource most like that of Spain? [answers may vary: Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Georgia, Florida]
  • What is the range of solar resources in kWh/m²/Year for Spain? [1300-2000 kWh/m²/Year]
  • Where is the highest calculated solar resource in Germany? [south of Munich]
  • Where is the lowest calculated solar resource in the continental United States? [western coastal Washington]



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