Ten states – Nevada, Hawaii, California, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Colorado – accounted for 88 percent of U.S. solar capacity at the end of 2015 (but only 26 percent of the country’s population), according to a new report spotted via Solar Industry news.
The weirdo on that list is Vermont, which has neither the sunny/desert climate of most of leaders nor the population base of Massachusetts and New Jersey. It’s like seeing New Hampshire high on a list of Best Ocean Coastlines (our coastline isn’t crummy, it’s just tiny: roughly 18 miles, depending on how you measure it).
Vermont’s small population helps its per capita rating, of course, but still. The secret, of course, is government incentives – for better or worse. Better, I say.
Another “secret” is the vibrancy of Vermont’s values-led business ecosystem. Home to Ben&Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Seventh Generation, Gardners Supply and 700 other members of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility — entrepreneurs here have launched dozens of clean energy ventures that have innovated on a national level. These market solutions to climate change are protecting our environment, creating good paying jobs, saving customers money on their power bills and generating profit toward business sustainability. It’s working. — Duane Peterson, SunCommon