Solar energy is one of the least carbon-intensive techniques of generating electricity in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. Solar energy emits no emissions during power production, and life-cycle assessments indicate that it has a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels. The study explores the asymmetric relationship between solar energy production and environmental quality in the top-10 solar energy-consumer countries (China, USA, Germany, Japan, Italy, Australia, India, Spain, United Kingdom, and France). A new technique, 'Quantile-on-Quantile (QQ)', is used by taking the panel data from 1996 to 2018. Carbon footprint is taken as a proxy for environmental quality. The findings investigate how solar energy quantiles impact quantiles of carbon footprint asymmetrically by offering a suitable framework for understanding the overall dependency pattern. The empirical findings show that, with the exception of India and Spain, solar energy production improves environmental quality by minimizing carbon footprint at various quantiles. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the degree of the asymmetrical link in the solar energy-environmental quality association varies by country, implying that governments must exercise individual attention and precaution when developing policies related to solar energy and environmental quality.(c) 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.