Is there any correlation between PV performance and World Cup success?

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Oddly enough, comparing the PV performance of each of the 32 countries which will be playing for football’s ultimate prize this summer with the betting odds throws up a surprising number of similarities.

pv magazine rated each country’s PV performance by the percentage of total electricity generated in each nation that came from solar PV, with the figures drawn from the latest set of IEA statistics, those that were collated in 2015.

Under our pv magazine ranking, World Cup holders Germany, with 5.99% of electrical generated from solar three years ago, were rated top dogs – just as they are, at 5-1, with the bookmakers.

Spain too, is the third best PV nation among the 32 finalists and third favourite with the bookmakers, with Portugal, Croatia, Uruguay, Mexico, Sweden, Saudi Arabia – rock bottom of both tables – and Serbia all varying little in their World Cup chances and national solar achievements.

England also potentially falls into that bracket, but the IEA breaks down its figures solely into the U.K. and everyone knows England would be 10 times the team if they were able to call on the footballing titans of Wales and Scotland.

Perhaps not surprisingly however, betting on a nation’s World Cup chances according to their eco-conscious power policies is not an exact science, after all, according to our predictions, just before Germany beat Belgium in the World Cup final – yes Belgium – Japan will win the third-fourth place play-off game against Australia.

One picture that does emerge from the data is that a more PV-meritorious World Cup would reward the footballing minnows of Panama, Tunisia and South Korea, while PV underachievers Argentina, Colombia and Nigeria would all make early exits.

The same goes for joint bookmakers’ favourites Brazil too, however. And given how they played against Germany in the semi-final four years ago, maybe this isn’t such a poor guide after all.