Clean Power Appalachian

Published on August 25th, 2013 | by Amber Archangel


Appalachian States — Solar Jobs Showdown — INFOGRAPHIC

August 25th, 2013 by  

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

Thanks to our friends over at, we have another exciting solar infographic. This time it’s a solar showdown between five Appalachian States. Here’s more from

Appalachian Solar Showdown

The first of its kind, we are proud to present our Appalachian Solar Showdown. A showcase and comparative of five states within the southeastern and mid-Atlantic Appalachian region. We take a look at Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Much like our previous Solar Smackdowns, we compare the following five metrics: number of solar jobs (and ranking), number of solar homes (and ranking), grading of net metering policies, renewable portfolio standards (including solar carve-outs) and ranking of each state’s electric prices.

Let’s see how the states stack up…

Author’s Note: 

The Appalachian Solar Showdown was brought to us by the same folks who brought us: California vs Texas on Solar Power (Infographic) and Maryland vs Virginia On Solar Power (Infographic).

I also found more information about the solar industry in the two leading states, Tennessee and North Carolina, from the Solar Energy Industries Association:

Facts on the Tennessee Solar Industry

  • There are currently more than 129 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Tennessee, employing 2,300.
  • In 2012, Tennessee installed 27 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 14th nationally. See solar state rankings.
  • Tennessee ranks 17th in the country in cumulative installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 5,200 homes.
  • In 2012, $84 million was invested in Tennessee to install solar on homes and businesses.  This represents a 58% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year.

Facts on the North Carolina Solar Industry

North Carolina ranks 5th in 2012 installed capacity. 

  • There are currently more than 111 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in North Carolina, employing 1,400.
  • In 2012, North Carolina installed 124 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 5th nationally. 
  • The 259 MW of solar energy currently installed in North Carolina ranks the state 6th in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 24,600 homes.
  • In 2012, $16 million was invested in North Carolina to install solar on homes and businesses.
  • Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices in North Carolina fell by 16% last year.  National prices have also dropped steadily— by 13% from last year and 34% from 2010.

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About the Author

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,

  • jaymcleod

    The most appropriate measure for Sections 1 and 2 is “per capita” or “per household”, or some other appropriate standardization. The overall number is not relevant for comparison as these states are very different in significant ways – population, land area, or GDP, for instance.

  • I’m surprised those coal states even allow solar on your home… the coal industry needs to spend a lot more to influence the lawmakers these days… tides are turning.

    • Corey Eckenroth

      Tides are turning which way? Even the Utilities are realizing they need to jump on solar, so much to the point that THEY are offering the incentives now, not just state and fed gov’t. See MN and GA. Both states have just signed huge amounts of MW production into legislation, but all of the incentives are run through the Utilities, which are actively trying to GET AWAY from a finite resource. Coal is a dirty word now, not just a dirty energy source. Nat Gas is a dirty word, but necessary to the development of a better energy network. Fed Ex and UPS, not to mention most of the garbage trucks and mass transit buses, have already switched to it. How long until Musk and his EV network run into the NG network and we have the showdown we’ve all been anticipating?

      • That would be a great showdown, utilities are too invested in long term gas/coal plants, the amount of solar they’d want to do is a very small percentage. They’ll be forced to switch eventually or die.

        • Corey Eckenroth

          All of the coal plants are becoming gas plants. Coal is on it’s way out the door as we speak. If the Utilities can get guaranteed generation at peak demand without the lag time it takes to get other plants online, it’ll only be a matter of time before distributed generation (wind/solar) overcomes centralized generation. Distributed Gen is the future of our energy network, AKA the beginning of the smart grid, and Elon Musk already realizes this. He is literally spending all of his money to develop it out west, and it is crawling east as we speak (Supercharger network).

  • JamesWimberley

    I like West Virginia´s non-renewable ¨renewable energy standard.¨ I suppose that means slightly less dirty coal.

    • Bob_Wallace

      West Virginia has geothermal resources in its eastern parts. It should get busy and develop those resources, create jobs and sell power to the Eastern Seaboard.

  • RobS

    Surely the better factoid would be the number of appalachians employed by renewable energy vs in coal mining.

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