Clean Edge: Hawaii leads the United States in shift to solar

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Hawaii’s 358 MW of installed solar PV in 2013 represented 12.9% of peak electric capacity, according to Clean Edge’s newly released 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. This is the highest portion of any U.S. state.

While California has a larger raw volume of solar PV installed at 5.18 GW, due to the state’s much larger population and electricity use this represented only 7.0% of peak capacity. New Jersey came in third place with 1.18 GW, representing 6.25% of peak capacity.

Solar deployment was one of many metrics that the report looked at within three broad categories of technology, finance and policy, spread over a variety of technologies including renewable energy, clean transportation and green buildings.

Overall, California led the state rankings, due to its strengths in clean technology deployment and finance. Three California metropolitan areas – San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego – scored the highest in the overall rankings of metro areas.

However, California came in 7th place when looking at the portion of utility-scale non-hydro renewable energy generation. Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas led the rankings in this metric due to high levels of wind deployment.

This may change in coming years. As the U.S. PV market continues to grow rapidly from year to year, solar is comprising a larger portion of electricity generation in leading states.