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States with the Most Solar Power per Capitca

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 01/16/2012 in
Updated 03/16/2014
best states with solar power

Where is the US solar market growing fastest? One way to get at that question is to dig deeper in to some obvious data about how much solar has been installed in the country: Take a look at per capita solar installations to date and last year.

How many watts of solar have been installed per person in each state? The answer to that question will reveal markets where solar panels are becoming vastly more visible across the landscape – worthy of further attention here at SPR. Let’s take a look:

Which states have the most solar power?

I created the chart above from data in the last Interstate Renewable Energy Council report on solar energy trends in the country.

I gathered population data in each state, then divided the total installed watts by total population by to arrive at the associated figures you see in the bar chart above (All this of course before I realized IREC created a table with similar data for the top ten states you see below right.)

In top states figures of close to 40 watts per person are equal to everyone in the state, everyone having 1/5th of a solar panel over their heads. Babies, grandmas, bartenders, everyone. That’s pretty impressive.

What’s also interesting is that the top three states listed above (NV, HI, and NJ) now have more solar installed per capita than California, the solar pioneer in many ways.

In the northeastern corridor, strong state solar incentives have become a key driver to recent installations.

I was particularly surprised at how quickly the Nevada solar market is blossoming over the past few years.

With that in mind, we’ll be updating Nevada state incentives and rebate policies tomorrow afternoon to see if anything new has come to light we’ve glossed over.

Last modified: March 16, 2014

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Obviously large commercial installations would skew the per capita numbers. As noted, state incentives seem to match the places with the most per capita solar installations. Our recent blog post on ZRECs
might be of interest. The new solar incentive program is a prerequisite to solar photovoltaic installations in Connecticut.


I’m really happy to see that New Jersey is 3rd on this list. The market has really grown, especially with the on-going SREC program that’s in place.


As a licensed contractor in California, one also hopes for increased reciprocity.


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