Quantcast

10 States Blocking the Power of the Sun

Energy

Some of the sunniest states in the country are actively blocking rooftop-solar development through overtly lacking and destructive policy landscapes, according to a Center for Biological Diversity report released Tuesday.

“There’s room for improvement in solar policies across all 50 states, but it’s especially shameful to see the sunniest states fail to lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.” Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy

The 10 states highlighted in Throwing Shade: 10 Sunny States Blocking Distributed Solar DevelopmentAlabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin—account for more than 35 percent of the total rooftop-solar technical potential in the contiguous U.S., but only 6 percent of total installed capacity.

“Thanks to weak and nonexistent policies, the distributed-solar markets in these states have never been given a chance to shine,” Greer Ryan, sustainability research associate with the Center for Biological Diversity and author of the report, said. “There’s room for improvement in solar policies across all 50 states, but it’s especially shameful to see the sunniest states fail to lead the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”

The report assigned a policy grade to all 50 states based on the presence and strength of key policies that have aided solar expansion in the country’s leading solar markets, as well as policy and regulatory barriers that are used to hinder the distributed-solar industries. These grades, along with the technical potential for distributed-solar expansion in each state (based on the latest findings from National Renewable Energy Laboratory), determined which states were the country’s worst offenders.

This analysis follows recent high-profile net-metering policy fights in Nevada and California, two leading solar states. More than half of all states with net-metering programs in place saw efforts to weaken or eliminate these programs in 2015, despite the fact that it was the hottest year on record.

“These solar-policy fights are becoming more common at a time when we should be expanding rooftop solar as quickly as possible,” said Ryan. “By blocking solar expansion, states threaten the swift transition to a just and fully renewable energy system that’s needed to stave off the worst impacts of climate change and protect the health of communities, wildlife and the planet.”

The Center for Biological Diversity advocates for a swift transition to a fully renewable, just and wildlife-friendly energy system through ending all new fossil fuel development on public lands and waters and maximizing distributed-solar potential.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Panama Papers Prove America Has the Money to Transition to 100% Clean Energy

Billionaire Climate Activist to Spend $25 Million to Register Millennial Voters

Prince’s Legacy of Philanthropy Beautifully Portrayed by Van Jones

The Real Drivers of a Low Carbon Future: China and India

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
The Dakota Access pipeline being built in Iowa. Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

The fight between the Standing Rock Sioux and the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline is back on, as the tribe opposes a pipeline expansion that it argues would increase the risk of an oil spill.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less