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10 Most Solar Friendly States

Solar energy popularity is growing, and federal and state lawmakers are following suit. The search for beneficial, and more wide reaching solar programs is on, and economic trouble has Americans searching for a low-cost alternative for their homes.

Most states offer incentive programs and tax credits for solar energy systems, in order to promote a renewable form of energy. The top states known for being the most solar friendly are as follows, and the list may surprise you.

New Mexico

Sunny days (annually): 320-340
Federal and State Savings Available: 50-55%

The abundant sunshine in New Mexico makes solar energy a real asset in the Southwest. 20% of the state’s electricity is mandated to come from renewable sources by 2020 (according to the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Solar installations can take up to $9,000 in tax credits for both thermal and photovoltaic varieties.


Sunny days (annually): 300-320
Federal and State Savings Available: 70-85%

The government in Colorado provides loans, rebates, and even tax exemptions for this sunny state each year. In order to accelerate the number and quality of green jobs, Colorado has also provided tax incentives and public/private initiatives to encourage research for solar technology and PV product manufacturing.


Sunny days (annually): 160-180
Federal and State Savings Available: 50-55%

Pennsylvania still utilizes a lot of coal; so renewable energy sources can often be a volatile subject. However, job growth is being promoted in clean energy sectors as well as tax incentives and other financial benefits to bring solar technology companies to the Keystone State.


Sunny days (annually): 200-220
Federal and State Savings Available: 35%

A solar energy program has been jumpstarted in this state over the last several years. The result has been an increase in rebates, and an increase in solar capacity, to 1MW. The Maryland Energy Administration, Solar Energy Grand Program was recently awarded funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical generation plants. The funding will also allow MEA to give grants to 200 individuals on a solar energy waiting list.


Sunny days (annually): 200-220
Federal and State Savings Available: 35-45%

Through Commonwealth Solar, the state is working to increase efforts on infrastructure for government buildings and schools. $68 million will be funded by the state to offset PV installation costs. Portions of the funds will be allotted for programs targeting existing homes, as well as newer construction.


Sunny days (annually): 200-220
Federal and State Savings Available: 45%

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund contains most of the state’s solar and other alternative energy programs. By 2010, the state is required to have 27% of its electricity produced by a combination of renewable sources. The state also funds various solar power financial incentives.

New Jersey

Sunny days (annually): 240-260
Federal and State Savings Available: 55%

New Jersey has the largest installed solar capacity next to California. The Solar Renewable Energy Certificate is responsible for much of New Jersey’s solar growth. In fact, when a solar electric system reaches 1,000 kWh, a tradable SREC is awarded, making it easier for businesses to finance and invest in cleaner forms of energy.


Sunny days (annually): 320-340
Federal and State Savings Available: 50%

A $3.3 billion, 10-year program called the California Solar Initiative is responsible for keeping the state at the top of solar technology in the United States. Launching Go Solar California in 2007, California is one of the largest solar markets in the world, and introduces new incentives to existing programs. The New Solar Homes Partnership provides incentives to contractors of energy efficient homes, and other benefits provide incentives for performance factors such as tilt, location, and angle of installation.


Sunny days (annually): 260-280
Federal and State Savings Available: 35%

The state hopes to lead the way in solar technology by offering cash incentives for thermal and PV solar energy systems. In 2007 alone, Oregon passed seven clean energy bills and is enjoying a surge in green jobs after many PV firms built manufacturing facilities in the state.


Sunny days (annually): 180-220
Federal and State Savings Available: 45%

While many claim Minnesota has no solar incentives, there are now six energy programs that encompass the production and installation of biogas and biomass. “Minnesota has more annual solar energy than Houston, Texas, and nearly as much as Miami, Florida,” boasts the state’s Energy Info Center. The state vows to investigate solar thermal heat and hot water solutions, as well as more affordable housing for expanding the solar technology market.

For more information on specific state initiatives and what your state is doing to promote cleaner energy and solar power visit

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