Solar energy is becoming an increasingly desirable and viable alternative energy source. The sun can produce over ten thousand times more energy than our planet can, and many countries are now recognising the need to convert from traditional energy creation methods to those that are less harmful. These countries’ willingness to embrace this alternative energy source means that they are, as a result, leading the way in what is now a huge, multi-billion dollar industry that could shape the future of our planet forever. This blog post pays tribute to the top five, and the progress they have made in recent years. Germany For many years, Germany has been the leader in adopting solar energy technology, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Government announced in 2007 its objective to use one hundred percent renewable energy by 2050. In 2011, the country installed over 25 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) panels to both homes and businesses, providing 18 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This now adds up to approximately 3% of the country’s total electricity consumption. Germany’s success in the solar energy field is down to a number of aspects, now embedded into German culture. First, the Government was one of the first to introduce many attractive financial incentives and assistance to businesses and individuals considering converting. Second, there are a large number of PV companies in the country, due to its large PV power plants (Strasskirchen Solar Park, Waldpolenz Solar Park, and Köthen Solar Park to name a few). Third, Germany has created an advanced level of public awareness, and therefore acceptance, of solar energy; its media has worked hard to portray the environmental and financial benefits, as well as heavily publicise the Government’s commitment to becoming a world leader in the industry.