A report recently released by Solar Power Rocks ranks all 50 states in the United States as well as the District of Columbia from the best to worst on the basis of their solar friendliness. Alabama received the lowest grade and Massachusetts was highest. In addition to the overall grade, the average payback period for each state is listed along with the internal rate of return (IRR).
2019 is an important year in the US solar industry because the 30% Federal Tax Credit for residential solar will drop. According to the report, 2018 will be known for the nation’s first new-construction solar mandate (in California) as well as the challenges brought by the results of the general election. A recent study by Environment America shows that installing solar panels on new homes would triple the amount of solar in the US by 2045. State by state we’re beginning to see change, and on the US House and some state executive branches will be leading the way on crafting smart new mandates for renewable energy.
Overall the findings in these reports indicate that policies and incentives encourage solar, shorten payback time and increase the rate of return. These policies can include strong Renewable Portfolio Standards, electricity prices, net metering, and interconnections standards coupled with incentives such as tax credits, rebates, property tax exemptions and performance payments.