Shining bright for solar energy

Screenshot of interactive map showing solar power distribution in Australia. (Australian Photovoltaic Institute)

How much solar energy would it take to power the United States? Apparently not that much – or so says Tesla CEO Elon Musk. When Tesla announced the creation of its home battery last month, Musk said that to power the entire United States with solar energy, only 160 million homes – or a few counties in Texas, as Fusion pointed out – would need solar panels.

By now, you may have heard in 2014, Germany generated more than half of its energy from solar power (at least for a while), and even China is getting on the bandwagon, jumping from No. 8 in the world in terms of solar power, to No. 2 in just five years.

To see how Australia is using solar energy, check out these interactive maps from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute that let you explore different aspects of the country’s solar energy output for any given date. Then check out the graphic below for highlights from a Pew Research Center poll of U.S. adults on their opinions on energy policy.

Infographic created by Dawn Cherie Araujo using and with data from the Pew Research Center.

[Dawn Cherie Araujo is staff reporter for Global Sisters Report based in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @Dawn_Cherie.]