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Solar Energy Boom Across The Country
10 times the solar capacity as 2007; costs fall 26% in 2012
Escalante Days in
Pg 13
Doctor¡¯s Orders,
Laugh it up... Pg 6
Nature¡¯s detox:
Watermelon... Pg 9
Looper¡¯s ¡®Unseen
Energy¡¯ debut... Pg 5
New Report: Ranks Top 12 States Leading
the U.S. in Solar Power
WASHINGTON, D.C.: On July 23, Environment America
Research & Policy Center released ¡®Lighting the Way: What
We Can Learn from America¡¯s Top 12 Solar States¡¯, a new
report highlighting a solar energy boom across the country.
The top 12 solar states ranked by per capita solar are: Ari-
zona, Nevada, Hawaii New Jersey, New Mexico, California,
Delaware, Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, North Caro-
lina and Maryland.
¡°The sky¡¯s the limit on solar energy,¡± said Rob Sargent,
energy program director with Environment America. ¡°The
progress of these states should give us the confidence that
we can do much more. Being a leader in pollution-free solar
energy means setting big goals and backing them up with
good policies.¡±
2013 AUgUST #4-7
momentum, I recently enacted legislation to establish Hawaii¡¯s innovative
Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program, which will provide
a financing model to make clean energy improvements more affordable
and within reach to underserved members of our community. This includes
small businesses, nonprofits, community organizations and individuals.
Utilizing all facets of our diverse renewable energy landscape is key, and
we are succeeding in removing barriers to allow a greater segment of our
community to invest in and benefit from clean, alternative resources such
as solar.¡±
¡°Vermont is putting solar power to work and is leading the way to a clean
energy future that tackles the threat of climate change while growing jobs
and the economy,¡± Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said. ¡°We have more than
doubled our solar energy in the last 2 1/2 years, but we know our work isn¡¯t
done. We plan to keep Vermont at the forefront of this energy revolution.¡±
Solar is on the rise across the country. According to the U.S. Solar Market
Insight: 2012 Year-in-Review report by the Solar Energy Industries Asso-
ciation (SEIA) and GTM Research, America had more than three times as
much solar capacity as it did in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as it
did in 2007. To boot, SEIA also found that the price to install a solar system
fell by 26 percent in 2012.
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, underlined the report¡¯s findings
that solar energy deployment is skyrocketing. (continued on Page3>>)
The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states
solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created
effective public policy for the development of the solar industry. States with
more homeowners and businesses ¡°going solar¡± share these strong policies:
11 of the 12 leading states have strong net metering policies, which allow
customers to offset their electric bills with onsite solar and receive reliable and
fair compensation for the excess electricity they provide to the grid.
11 of the 12 states have renewable electricity standards, requiring utilities to
provide a minimum amount of their power from renewable sources; and nine
of them have solar carve outs, which set specific targets for solar or other forms
of clean onsite power.
10 of the 12 have strong statewide interconnection policies. Interconnection
policies reduce the time and hassle required for individuals and companies to
connect solar energy systems to the grid.
The majority of the top solar states allow for creative financing options such
as third-party power purchase agreements and property assessed clean energy
(PACE) financing.
Strong commitment shows among the elected officials of leading solar states.
¡°Encouraging solar power is the right thing to do for the environment and our
economy,¡± said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. ¡°We are aggressively work-
ing toward a clean energy future in Delaware, demonstrating we can have both
a strong economy and a healthy environment. That means creating a robust
market for solar and other clean energy systems, creat-
ing clean energy jobs, expanding our solar industry, and
improving air quality by reducing our dependence on
fossil fuels.¡±
¡°Building our state¡¯s solar market is a top priority in
Maryland,¡± said Governor O¡¯Malley. ¡°Our renewable
energy portfolio standard and energy consumption reduc-
tion goals are among the most aggressive in the country.
Today, we have more than 1,410 times more solar on our
state¡¯s grid and 2,000 more solar installation jobs than in
2007. Together, we can create a more sustainable future
for generations to come.¡±
¡°Environment America¡¯s ranking of Hawaii as a leader in
solar energy is encouraging and demonstrates our state¡¯s
commitment to achieving its clean energy goals,¡± said
Hawaii¡¯s Governor Neil Abercrombie. ¡°Continuing our
Image credit: Sierra Club Green Home