Lighting the Way

What We Can Learn from America's Top 12 Solar States
Released by: Environment Rhode Island

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business.

America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result.

The Dazzling Dozen states account for only 28 percent of the U.S. population but 85 percent of the nation’s installed solar electricity capacity.* These 12 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”

The pathway to a solar future laid out by the Dazzling Dozen is open to every state. By following their lead and implementing a new wave of public policies to expand access to solar energy, the United States can work toward the goal of getting at least 10 percent of our energy from the sun by 2030.