NerdWallet, a financial advice blog, recently reported on a study about the solar industry and market in all 50 states to determine which ones provided the best conditions for homeowners who want to install solar panels on their rooftops. There are a number of factors that guide someone’s decision to go solar, and while other states may provide certain advantages such as more sunlight or better tax incentives, it’s important to aggregate all of these measures to determine which one produces the ideal conditions for a photovoltaic (PV) installation.
NerdWallet used four main criteria in determining the best state for solar power:
- Electricity Prices: For many homeowners, solar energy provides a financial benefit because the current rates are high and future prices are projected to rise. California fits the bill, as it has some of the highest electricity rates in the country.
- Existing Capacity: If a state is committed to adding more solar power, it means local and state governments will continue to offer rebates to new and existing solar customers. California leads the nation in installed solar generating capacity, with 3,322 megawatts, which suggests that our state has been and will continue to be committed to solar energy.
- Incentives: Not all states have done a good job of encouraging residents to buy or lease a solar energy system. Californians can still take advantage of rebates and incentives (such as Net Energy Metering) through the California Solar Initiative and their utility companies.
- Quantity of Sunlight – People who live in Alaska will have a lot of trouble generating solar energy in the winter, when the sun never rises. States like California provide copious amounts of sunlight all year round, making them ideal for solar power.
Based on scoring for all four of these measures, California leads the way with its favorable regulatory, tax and natural environment that combine to create ideal conditions for any customers who are planning on going solar.