Report: 10 States Leading Solar Charge

Territories promote private and public solar energy through policy and practice.

by / September 4, 2015

When it comes to solar power, a score of states are aggressively leading the country in energy capacity growth, a recently released report shows.

According to the report, published in August 2015, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and North Carolina are listed as the top territories in solar energy capacity. 

These states are followed closely by New York, Vermont and Georgia, which reportedly have large or fast-growing solar energy markets and strong new solar policies or programs implemented since mid-2013.

Arizona and Hawaii took the top spots in terms of total solar energy capacity per capita and per capita capacity installed in 2013, while California and Arizona led the way in cumulative electricity capacity and total solar energy capacity installed in 2013.

The 10 states make up an astounding 87 percent of solar growth in the nation but only comprise around 26 percent of the U.S. population, according to The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013

Despite the undeniable growth seen across the solar power landscape, fossil fuel interests have continued to be a prevalent and pervasive opponent. Regardless, many states have set ambitious solar energy goals.

Since 2003, the United States has seen a 123 percent increase in capacity, from 97 megawatts to more than 12,000 megawatts at the end of 2013. 

The first quarter of 2014 also saw a substantial rise in the clean energy source. According to the report, nearly 75 percent of all new U.S. energy capacity was solar photovoltaic. This continued rise could point to the fact that the clean energy systems have also fallen in price by 60 percent since 2011.

The report also identifies some of the successful practices and policies of the top states, which include compensating consumers at the full retail rates for excess electricity supplied to the grid, good interconnection policies for consumers and companies to the grid, and creative financing options and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

If others states were to follow suit, an estimated 10 percent of the United States’ energy production could be attributed to solar by 2030.