Solar energy access in the United States varies wildly from state to state. Texas gets enough sunlight per year to power the entire world via solar energy, and yet has one of the lowest solar capacities in the country. The Northeast is the “second most solar-friendly region in the country” despite receiving the least sunshine.
At the heart of it is state-level regulatory policy. Florida’s is described as ‘hostile’, while New York State has embraced renewables. As solar energy prices tumble, do state regulations risk creating a two-tier access to cheap renewable energy?
The new renewable
In the past renewable energy has been easy to dismiss on an economic basis. As a new technology, it has necessarily been more expensive than older, more established fossil fuels. It requires new infrastructure — which, in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, spending on was always going to take a backseat — and primitive technology is inefficient.