Renewable energy continues State by State. So it’s becoming more popular especially across the United States. Especially with wind power production nearly tripling since 2011. So solar power production is multiplying by 23 times in the same time period.
The numerous benefits of solar include versatility and greater control over energy consumption. As well as the added perk of helping the environment. Though solar power can be costly to install, its prices continue to fall, and it earns its cost back through later savings.
Solar Power Rapid Growth
Because solar power is growing so rapidly in the U.S., nearly any location in the country would be great for starting your own journey with solar power. However, if you would like to live in one of the states doing the most to promote solar power use, check out the lists below!
Top 10 States for Solar Power Supply in 2021
In 2021, 4% of all United States electricity came from solar energy. The 10 states that have generated the most solar power through Q3 2021 are:
- California: 32,209 MW
- Texas: 12,309 MW
- Florida: 7,765 MW
- North Carolina: 7,460 MW
- Arizona: 5,549 MW
- Nevada: 4,245 MW
- New Jersey: 3,827 MW
- Massachusetts: 3,486 MW
- Virginia: 3,444 MW
- Georgia: 3,260 MW
California is most noteworthy ahead of everyone. I mean at almost triple the amount of available solar power of the state in second place. For it is also able to power 9,591,857 homes with its current solar capacity. However, even the lowest state on the list, Georgia, is able to power 415,941 homes.
Top 10 for Installations in 2021
Just because a state currently has the greatest solar capabilities it’s not everything. However, it does not mean that state is also growing the fastest. So here are the 10 states that have added the most solar capabilities throughout 2021:
- North Carolina
- New York
Texas is most surprisingly furthest in the lead with the installation of 4,523 MW. The next closest is California. For they installed 1,899 MW. So if you want to relocate to a state growing its solar capabilities the fastest. Well then: Texas is your best choice. However, all the states on this list are growing quickly compared to 10 years ago.
How States Promote Solar Power Growth
Not every state could make the top 10 list, and several states appeared on both lists. That means most states in the U.S. have the opportunity to greatly improve their solar capabilities. Indeed, even the states currently in the lead still have room to improve. For example, solar power only makes up about 24% of California’s electricity production.
Moreover, states across the country are setting incentives and benefits for solar installation. That encourages businesses and citizens to embrace solar energy. Here are some of the best ways states are promoting solar power:
States Setting ambitious goals:
One of the best ways states can promote solar power is to present ambitious goals for clean energy, forcing them to pursue these goals. Across the U.S., at least 38 states have implemented a clean energy goal, with nine states aiming to reach 100% clean energy by 2050. Among these are California, New York, and Virginia.
Using solar for government buildings: Leading by example, many states are trying to promote using solar energy by implementing it as the power source for their own government buildings. For example, Pennsylvania’s governor plans to generate 50% of the state’s government building electricity through solar.
Providing tax incentives: One of the best ways to encourage solar use is by reducing the cost, which is why so many state governments are implementing tax incentives for those who use solar energy. In Tennessee, solar panel systems are exempt from sales tax, and for homes using solar energy, it offers a property tax assessment with a maximum return of 12.5% of the solar installation cost.
Solar power is continuing to grow – not just in Texas and California, but in every state across the country. Even the states that currently have the least growth, like Alabama, North and South Dakota, and Tennessee, are implementing new incentives and goals to boost their clean energy contributions.
The United States still has a long way to go before the country itself reaches 100% clean energy, but every state that achieves its own goals pulls the entire country closer and closer to that target.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.