SEIA: The United States Has Some of the Best Untapped Solar Resources in the World

Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions poised lead in solar jobs and power installed


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch today touted the vast potential for solar energy development in the Southeast United States.


“The United States has some of the best solar resources in the world – resources that are more than double that of Germany, the current world leader in solar. With the right policies, solar can play a significant role in creating jobs, growing local economies and cutting energy costs for consumers and businesses,” said Resch


“Those who claim the U.S. does not have enough sun to power our nation are simply wrong.In the Southeast, 24 percent of electricity could come from rooftop solar alone*. As a policy investment, solar is one of the best values for putting Americans back to work and creating growth opportunities for utilities and small businesses alike in the Southeast and across the country,” added Resch.


After the Southwest, the Southeastern United States boasts some of the best solar resources in the country.North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia have solar resources 60 percent better than Germany and are home to hundreds of companies that manufacture and install solar energy equipment.Likewise, Florida has several hundred solar manufacturers, installers and project developers and solar resources that are 70 percent better than Germany – the world’s leader in solar power development.


Utilities are also beginning to embrace the sun’s fuel. Notably, Duke Energy in North Carolina plans to buy more than 10 megawatts of electricity from a solar farm that SunEdison is building in Davidson County. In early December, Florida Power & Light (FPL) broke ground on the first concentrating solar power plant north of Palm Beach County. In July, FPL selected SunPower to build two solar photovoltaic plants. When these projects are completed and brought online, they will make Florida the country’s second-largest solar energy producer.


The mid-Atlantic is another emerging solar energy powerhouse.While New Jersey has somewhat lower solar resources than the southeastern states, it’s aggressive policies and incentives has led it to be the third largest solar market in the U.S. behind California and Nevada. Recently, Pennsylvania and Ohio have instituted state policies to stimulate development of renewable energy, including solar.


*Source: EIA, DOE, Navigant Consulting, SEIA.