If you’ve been reading CleanTechnica long enough, you know that 8 to 10 years ago, I used to publish reports on solar power capacity per capita — for both US states and countries around the world. It was one of our most popular features back in the day. I’m returning to these, starting with this one on the top solar states.
Following the chart ranking US states by total solar power capacity per capita and some commentary about the findings, you can see the absolute ranking, not per capita.
As you can see, the top solar power state per capita is probably not the one that came to mind for almost all of you. Would I have guessed that it would be Nevada? Nope.
In fact, Nevada is so far in the lead that it has more than double the amount of solar power installed per capita as #6 Vermont, and nearly double the results for #5 North Carolina.
That said, the top 5 states are certainly states that lead for solar in a variety of ways. Nevada, Hawaii, California, Arizona, and North Carolina all have great solar resources, and they have policies that provide just enough incentive for large corporations, utilities, small businesses, and homeowners to go solar.
A couple of states do quite poorly here that you will see on the top of the overall ranking (total solar power capacity, not total solar power per capita or relative to anything else). Those states are Texas and, unfortunately, my home state of Florida. New York also drops in the rankings.
Aside from Nevada’s surprise ranking at #1 on the chart above, it is also a bit of a surprise to see Utah (#7) in the top 10. There are several Northeastern states in the top 10 as well, which may surprise people new to the topic since they don’t have best solar resources in the country, but they have long been leaders in the adoption of solar power.
On to the ranking for overall solar power installed in each state.
As you can see, California is so far in the lead that it’s basically off the charts. In fact, it accounts for 35% of the USA’s total installed solar power capacity.
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