Clean Power

Published on June 20th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Most Solar-Friendly States — 2013 State Solar Policy Rankings (Infographic)

June 20th, 2013 by  

legendThe folks over at Solar Power Rocks have gone through the solar policies of all 50 US states in order to rank them all. Solar Power Rocks’ overall grades for each state are based 60% on solar incentives (overal solar system payback time based on all incentives, feed-in tariffs, tax credits, utility and state rebates, etc.), 20% on utility policies (whether or not the state has a renewable portfolio standard / renewable energy standard, the strength of that RPS/RES, and electricity rates), 10% on interconnection policies, and 10% on net metering policies.

For a quick glance at the results, here’s a colorful infographic from Solar Power Rocks (note the color legend on the top-right corner of this article):

top solar power states policies

For another look at the ranking criteria, here’s a pie chart:


And for a detailed breakdown of how the states performed on each criteria, here’s a colorful spreadsheet (click to enlarge — still hard to read):

solar spreadsheet

For a more detailed write-up of each state’s solar policies, check out the full Solar Power Rocks article on the rankings, where you can click through on details for each state.

Interestingly, I’m on the verge of reporting per capita solar power capacity state rankings. They won’t match up perfectly with these solar policy rankings, but I bet there will be some overlap. Stay tuned to CleanTechnica for those exclusive rankings.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Ryan Scott

    The breakdowns are a fantastic representation of the state of solar at that moment, and I refer to this weekly. Unfortunately, as soon as reports are posted, things change at a moments notice, and legislation and incentives can move a state up or down that list within days. Great work Zachary, the spreadsheet is extremely informative. Thank you.

    • Johnny Le

      Hmm, then the list should be dynamic, updated in real time.

  • Bill

    Congratulations to the “Sunshine State” a C ranking which should be an F. They offered a rebate program which 12,000 Floridians were approved for and then…refused to pay them.

  • Eric

    I hate the sun, it hurts when I look at it. I hope it blows up

  • Juan Pelotas

    There has to be an error. FL has nothing; and whatever little money they make available, it is so pitiful that it runs out within an hour on January 1st when the phone lines open. All perks are sucked up by Florida Power Light, Progress Energy, etc. There is nothing for residential customers.

    On the other hand, on rainy Eastern WA state, utilities offer $0.56 per watt generated if the panels an inverters are made in the state (both are available); and $0.15 per watt hour for out of state/country equipment, which is still higher than the 10c we pay to the utilities.

    • Juan Pelotas

      Sorry. I meant Western WA. Eastern WA is quite sunny all the time.

  • Matt

    They should have painted that on a map. You would think all the independent minded westerners would have bright green, and some are but not as much as I expected.

  • Shiggity

    Texas should be #1 in solar, the entire Texas triangle has near perfect solar radiation. Republicans won’t be able to keep solar down for too much longer. Every single red / orange state is Republican, I checked.

    • Agreed. Sooner or later… probably sooner. And the self-reliance bit with solar is so clear and strong, it’s hard to see it not catching on like wildfire.

  • JamesWimberley

    A good chart. Shame is a powerful motivator.
    It could be useful to relate these rankings to solar potential. The unfriendliness of Alaska and Idaho to solar doesn’t matter much because they have limited potential. Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma – at the bottom of the rankings – have plenty and are missing out on a great deal.

  • RussellLowes

    CA has the biggest amount, but AZ has the biggest amount of solar per capita. CA is not near the top per capita. They need to get their act together — they have the political climate to do a lot more. Now they need the political will.

    • I thought it was quite interesting to see California #12 on this list. In the new per capita rankings, CA will actually rank #6, which is apparently better than its policies according to this ranking above. AZ will still be #1, Hawaii #2, Nevada #3. Sneak peak for those of you who make it down to the comments section here. 😀

      And that’s for total MW/capita. But will be almost the same for new MW/capita.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    It’s interesting that though California, I believe, has by fat the lions share of solar it is not the friendliest state for solar.

    • Yeah, i was surprised to see it so low. Figured it’d be in the top 10. But see my comment above for more commentary on solar per capita. 😀

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