20 U.S. Cities Leading the Way in Solar Energy

Solar Energy

More and more cities throughout the United States are using solar energy as well as other sources of renewable energy as supplements for their sources of non-renewable energy. Partly, this is because this improves their environment by reducing the amount of potentially problematic chemicals being pumped into it.  Also, this is because setting up sources of renewable energy comes with a slew of side benefits such as more jobs, more stable prices, and more resilient systems.

With that said, some U.S. cities have been better than others at setting up sources of renewable energy such as solar, meaning that it should come as no surprise to learn that a lot of people are interested in finding out which of them have had the most success so far. This is much easier said than done because of the sheer nebulous regarding how a city’s success can be measured, though one of the simplest and most straightforward methods is looking at the amount of solar energy that they have installed.   Here are 20 cities leading the way:

LA Solar Energy

1. The city of Los Angeles has the most sources of solar energy installed at a total of 215 megawatts, which is nowhere near enough to meet its needs but still impressive when compared to the same figure for most of the other cities in the United States. In part, this is because Los Angeles residents support such initiatives, thus resulting in increased political will as well as increased interest in the same. However, it should also be noted that the state of California as a whole has been pushing the switch over to solar energy, which is the reason that there are a lot of cities from the state of California on this list. With that said, it is important to note that Los Angeles’s accomplishment is much less impressive on a per capita basis, seeing as how 215 megawatts is no more than 55 watts on a per capita basis because of its enormous population.

San Diego Solar Energy

2. For an example of how the state of California’s push has been encouraging cities besides Los Angeles, look no further than the city of San Diego with 189 megawatts installed, which in turn, means about 136 watts on a per capita basis. This is because while San Diego has shown a similar commitment as Los Angeles when it comes to installing solar energy, its smaller population means that this has resulted in a bigger change from a per capita perspective as well, though it is important to note that the city still has a long way to go before solar energy will make up a significant part of its sources of energy. Fortunately, the city is still in the earliest stages of its installation of sources of solar energy, meaning that it will continue to improve and improve as time passes.

Phoenix Solar Energy

3. At third comes the city of Phoenix out in the state of Arizona, which is producing 147 megawatts that can be calculated as being 96 watts on a per capita basis. This should come as no real surprise, seeing as how the state of Arizona is famous for its sunny climate, which makes it not just appealing for seniors seeking to make the most of their golden years but also appealing for those seeking an alternative to sources of non-renewable energy. Reliably sunny weather is critical for solar energy because while solar energy panels have been improving, more sun still means the generation of solar energy that can be put to productive uses.

Honolulu Solar Energy

4. Hawaii is a state known for its interest in protecting its beautiful environment. As a result, it seems like it is no coincidence that its capital of Honolulu have 146 megawatts of solar energy installed for itself, which works out to about the same ratio as the city of Phoenix over in the state of Arizona. In this, Honolulu is helped by the fact that in spite of expectations, it actually has fewer rainy days than, say, Phoenix, meaning that it has plenty of time in an average year when its solar panels can get to work.

San Jose Solar Energy

5. Unsurprisingly, San Jose is another one of the cities in the state of California that have benefited from the latter’s efforts to encourage the installation of sources of solar energy throughout the United States. In its case, it has 141 megawatts installed, which is all the more remarkable because it has one of the highest per capita figure at 139 watts per capita. For the sake of comparison, this is more than any of the other cities on this list.

Indianapolis Solar Energy

6. Indianapolis is another city that has been benefited with 125 megawatts and 146 watts per capita because its state has been pushing for the installation of sources of solar energy, though in its case, that state is Indiana rather than California. Evidence of this can be seen in how the city is home to the single largest solar farm that is attached to an airport, which shows its residents’ willingness to innovate as well as the remarkable extent of their interest in renewable power.

San Antonio Solar Energy

7. The state of Texas is famous for not just its sunny climate but also for having some of the most forward-thinking cities in the United States. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that the city of San Antonio has made it onto the list with 108 megawatts that works out to about a respectable 75 watts per capita.

NYC Solar Energy

8. Surprisingly, New York City is one of the U.S. cities leading the way when it comes to solar energy, though no one would have expected it. It has managed 84 megawatts, which unfortunately, works out to about 10 watts per capita because of its huge population. Still, this is a sign of how seriously the city takes green initiatives, which can seen in a wide range of other environmental projects that are meant to update it for a new century.

Albuquerque Solar Energy

9. Like New York City, Albuquerque is one of the less expected names on this list with 64 megawatts, which is about 114 watts per capita. This is a highly respectable number that is one of the highest on this list, helped along by the fact that the state of New Mexico is one of the sunnier states in the union. So in hindsight, Albuquerque should not have come as such a surprise after all.

Las Vegas Solar Energy

10. Las Vegas is built in the middle of a desert that is exposed to the sun almost all of the time. Furthermore, that desert has relatively little build-up compared to the surroundings of other metropolises in the United States, meaning that there is plenty of space available for new construction. Unsurprisingly, this means that Las Vegas has about 94 watts per capita even with its 58 megawatts.

San Francisco Solar Energy

11. Measuring at about 48 watts per capita even with a total of 41 megawatts that have been installed so far, San Francisco has earned a position on this list, even though it has not fared as well as some of the other famous cities in the state of California. That said, the city of San Francisco has big plans in place for its future, seeing as how it instituted a recent law mandating solar panels to be installed on the roofs of all new buildings within its boundaries. Given the ambitiousness of this step, it seems probable that San Francisco will shoot up the rankings in the years still to come.

New Orleans Solar Energy

12. New Orleans has managed to earn a place on this list for much the same reasons as most of its counterparts. In short, its residents are showing higher and higher interest in installing solar panels, while its government is encouraging such efforts by creating incentives for a wide range of economic actors to do so. The result is 35 megawatts, which is about 90 watts on a per capita basis.

Austin Energy Solar

13. The city of Austin has been making incredible strides when it comes to the installation of solar energy in recent years, having managed 33 megawatts with the support of its residents as well as its government. With that said, Austin has a long way to go in this regard, seeing as how its per capita figure is a low 36 watts, which is better than many of the cities in the United States but could still use some improvement.

Sacramento Solar Energy

14. Given the interest in solar energy throughout the state of California, it is no coincidence that its capital of Sacramento has managed 32 megawatts, which is about 66 watts on a per capita basis. Once again, there is room for improvement, but so far, its future when it comes to solar energy is looking bright.

Riverside Solar Energy

15. Riverside is one of the least well-known names on this list, though it is important to note that it is a city in the state of California like so many before it. In part, it has managed 38 megawatts and 88 watts per capita for much the same reasons as other California cities. However, it should also be noted that it is situated close to prime land for setting up solar panels, which explains the rest of its success.

Jacksonville Solar Energy

16. Jacksonville is next up on this list with 24 megawatts, which works out to about 28 watts per capita. This is because the state of Florida as a whole has been lagging behind a lot of the other states in the union, but seeing as how solar panel companies throughout Jacksonville has been finding success, it seems possible that this will start changing for the better in the years to come.

Newark Solar Energy

17. Curiously, Newark out in the state of New Jersey has managed to install 21 megawatts in sources of solar energy, made all the more respectable by the fact that this is about 75 watts on a per capita basis. In large part, this is because the state of New Jersey is pushing hard for the adoption of solar energy, as shown by how it has set strict standards for its power system to meet as well as the other initiatives that it has running at the moment.

Portland Solar Energy

18. Like many of the other states in the union, Oregon has been running a wide range of solar energy initiatives and incentives to encourage its use. As a result, it has been rewarded with examples such as Portland, which boasted 19 megawatts, meaning 31 watts per capita. While still relatively low compared to the other cities on this list, it is nonetheless a respectable start to an ongoing project.

Boston Solar Energy

19. Although Massachusetts might not be the most suitable place for setting up solar panels, its people are committed to the idea, as shown by Boston’s 15 megawatts and 23 watts per capita. As solar panels continue to become better and better at converting sunlight into electricity, it seems reasonable to expect that this figure will continue to rise and rise.

Washington DC Solar Energy

20. Unsurprisingly, Washington, D.C. has a strong interest in solar energy as well as other sources of renewable energy. Something that has expressed itself in 14 megawatts, which works out to about 20 watts on a per capita basis. As the city continues to encourage those interested in green initiatives while also providing them with support through a range of means, expect this figure to continue improving as time passes.