If one state leads the rest of the country in setting the bar for solar, it’s California: the Golden State consistently tops the Solar Energy Industries Association’s list for the best states for solar, having more than four times the installed capacity than the runner up (North Carolina).
In today’s current era of renewable energy targets, action is not just limited to political entities such as the federal government, states or individual cities. In fact, many corporations are getting in on the act by promoting corporate sustainability programs or contracting directly with renewable energy developers to build solar and wind farms specifically for their company. As the solar and wind industries continue to grow, corporate renewable procurement and targets will play a substantial role in driving renewable energy to greater and greater heights.
Following the 2018 elections, there has been a flurry of state-level action on climate change and clean energy to begin the new year. Outside of proposals at the federal level for a Green New Deal, many states are proposing and passing a suite of climate-related legislation, from emission reduction goals to clean energy procurement targets. Perhaps the most common policy instrument for growing clean energy at the state level is the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
More than thirty states in the United States currently have renewable energy policies. Most of these goals, targets, and mandates allow for compliance from a range of different types of renewable energy technologies. In a few cases, however, states have included a technology-specific mandate as a part of their renewable energy policies. One such policy mechanism is a solar carve-out.
Since Hawaii became the first state in the country to pass a 100 percent renewable energy target in 2015, a number of other states, cities and utilities have followed suit. In fact, more than a dozen states and US territories have gotten in on the action with targets to procure all of their electricity from either renewable or non-emitting resources. As new states pass legislation, we will be sure to keep this list up to date.