The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
10 Sunny States That Are Hostile to Rooftop Solar
Ten of the nation's sunniest states get a failing grade for policies that actively block, or don't encourage, rooftop-solar development, according to Throwing Shade, a new report from the Center for Biological Diversity.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin account for more than 33 percent of the total rooftop-solar potential of small buildings in the contiguous U.S. but less than 8 percent of net generation in 2017. All of them get an "F" in today's report.
"Instead of leading us out of the climate crisis, these sunny states are casting a long shadow across our potential for rooftop solar," said Greer Ryan, a renewable energy and research specialist with the Center for Biological Diversity and author of the report. "The Trump administration certainly isn't going to fix our climate, so it's vital that these states step up."
In the Center for Biological Diversity's analysis, states were graded based on the presence and strength of key policies that aid solar expansion. Other considerations were regulatory barriers that hinder distributed-solar markets and anti-solar campaigns pushed by fossil fuel and monopoly utility companies.
These factors, along with the technical potential for rooftop solar on small buildings, determined which states were the country's worst offenders.
Key findings include:
- All 10 states are falling far behind states with stronger policies in meeting their technical potential for rooftop solar.
- Texas and Florida stand out as two of the states with the most potential but the worst distributed-solar policies.
- Among the most common barriers to the expansion of distributed solar in the 10 states are a lack of community solar policies, poor compensation policies, and prohibited or unclear rules for third-party ownership.
"By blocking solar expansion, states threaten the swift transition to a just and fully renewable energy system," said Ryan. "That transition is what's needed to stave off the worst impacts of climate change and protect the health of communities, wildlife and the planet."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jason Bittel
It's that time of year again: Right now, monarch butterflies are taking wing in the mountains of northwestern Mexico and starting to flap their way across the United States.
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.
On Friday, Seal Rescue Ireland released Sesame the seal into the ocean after five months of rehabilitation at the Seal Rescue Ireland facility. Watch the release on EcoWatch's Facebook.
By Jordan Davidson
Guinness is joining the fight against single use plastic. The brewer has seen enough hapless turtles and marine life suffering from the scourge of plastic.
People of all ages are spending more of their day looking at their phones, computers and television screens, but parents now have another reason for limiting how much screen time their children get — it could lead to behavioral problems.