Solar in the United States is growing at a rapid rate. Not only does solar have extreme benefits for the environment, but is also a dynamic tool for economic growth and job creation Solar power is creating jobs 12 times faster than the overall US economy and “the last year the US solar workforce grew by more than 20% for the third year in a row” Clean Technica reports. In this effort to replace carbon fuels California continues to lead the way in nearly all factions of solar growth.
California’s solar incentives are a large part of why solar continues to grow at a consistent rate and explains the widespread adoption in the residential and commercial sectors. With more incentives and deals (88 different solar panel incentives in CA compared to next closest of 49 in Texas) that cut back the cost of solar panel installation and decrease energy bills over time, the move to solar energy has become enticing to the states residents. The green minded California government also continues to push for solar production as it placed a state law requiring new building to make 15% of roofs “solar ready”, prompting San Francisco to pass a city ordinance that requires all new building to become equipped with solar panels. Solar system prices have dropped 48% from 2010 in California and the state as a whole now produces 13,243 MW a year, enough to power 3.32 million homes (Eco Watch). California is a great example of the benefits of solar beyond the environmental impact as it continues to be a successful guinea pig. (Pictures Below provided by Big Think)
Other states have been making the push towards solar as well. Arizona has battled utility corporations and the Arizona Corporation Commission, trying to restrict solar growth, to become one of the top state producers of solar energy (largely due to the city of Phoenix). Surprisingly, because of its connections to oil, Texas has also become a leader in the industry installing huge solar farms on the tons of acres of open land perfect for this type of energy production. Meanwhile, states like New Jersey may not have the land necessary for solar farms, but because of a half billion dollar program initiated in 2013 to expand the states solar capacity, the state has become a top solar producer as well. Notable mentions are New York, Nevada, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, and North Carolina (among others) that expect to see even more growth in the following years and be a role model for other states opening up to the idea.
Even with all this progress the US still only gets .65% of its electricity from solar (Tech Insider). Most of the energy for electricity still comes from natural gas and coal that is bad for our environment and harming our earth. We can look to states like the ones above as motivation for the United States as a whole to move to a green energy solution. Help Brighten Solar Co. spread the knowledge of the benefits of solar and continue to make California the leader in solar energy installation!