Lighting the Way

The Top States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2014
Released by: Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center

Solar energy is booming. In just the last three years, America’s solar photovoltaic capacity tripled. In 2014, a third of the United States’ new installed electric capacity came from solar power. And in three states – California, Hawaii, and Arizona – solar power now generates more than 5 percent of total electricity consumption.

With the cost of solar energy declining rapidly, tens of thousands more Americans each year are experiencing the benefits of clean energy from the sun, including energy generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business.

America’s solar energy revolution continues to be led by a small group of states that have the greatest amount of solar energy capacity installed per capita. These 10 states have opened the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result.

The Top 10 states with the most solar electricity installed per capita account for only 26 percent of the U.S. population but 86 percent of the nation’s total installed solar electricity capacity. These 10 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, 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.”