California is among a dozen states that have excelled through political will and public policy at producing solar power and should be examples for others on how to shift to renewable energy, according to a report released Tuesday by the group Environment California.
“The Dazzling Dozen states account for only 28 percent of the U.S. population but 85 percent of the nation’s installed solar electricity capacity,” concluded the study conducted by the Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center.
The report found that California leads the nation in cumulative solar electric installations.
It had the sixth highest cumulative capacity per resident and, along with states including Arizona, Colorado and New Jersey, “possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to `go solar,’ " the report said.
The report singled out New Jersey for its decision in 2004 to commit the state to generating 2.1% of its electricity from the sun by 2021. That state created a system in which utilities compensate homeowners and businesses for every unit of solar electricity they generate, the report said.
If other states follow the lead of the top 12, the United States can make progress toward the goal of getting at least 10% of energy from the sun by 2030.