Honolulu tops nation in solar growth, new study says

Honolulu tops the nation when it comes to solar energy, according to a new study by Environment America.

The report, which looked at the growth of solar in major American cities, says Honolulu ranks first for the amount of solar installed per capita (265 watts/person) and fifth in the nation for total solar capacity (91 MW).

“It’s only the beginning as we strive to aggressively transition to a green, sustainable energy system,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Our city is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the nation when it comes to PV capacity per capita and an excellent example of how the state, city, and private sector can work together for the benefit of all. We will continue to work together and explore emerging technologies and innovative policy solutions to bring down costs, protect our natural beauty, and keep our energy dollars here in Hawaii.”

The report pointed to policies that encouraged investment in solar PV installations, which have been adopted by local and state leaders, like low-interest loan programs and tax incentives.

“The Hawaii State Energy Office plays a vital role in helping our state meet its energy goals,” said State Energy Administrator Mark Glick. “Removing barriers and providing the framework and tools for the development of energy conservation helped Honolulu attain the top spot in solar PV per capita.”

The report also found that there is more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic capacity installed in the U.S. today compared to 2002, much of that in America’s cities. The top 20 cities account for seven percent of the installed photovoltaic solar, while occupying only 0.1 percent of the land area.

Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations.

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