For the seventh year in a row, Honolulu topped a list of 50 cities nationwide for solar PV installed per capita; it also placed third in total existing solar PV capacity installed to date, according to a survey of 5o large urban centers released today by the nonprofit organizations Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.
“Cities are leading the charge to install clean, renewable solar energy,” said Wendy Wendlandt, acting president of Environment America, in a statement. “Each year of our study we’ve found that more local leaders are pursuing solar projects and smart local policies.”
The report, “Shining Cities 2020,” based on an annual survey that began in 2013, states that more solar capacity was added to the U.S. grid in 2019 than any other energy source.
“The United States now has more than 77 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed — enough to power more than one in every 10 homes in America,” the report says.
In 2019, Honolulu’s solar PV per person was 840.88 Watts, followed by San Diego with 294.8 Watts per capita.
Honolulu’s total solar PV installed in 2019 was 292.12 MW, behind San Diego, which placed 2nd with 420.38 MW and top-ranked Los Angeles with 483.8 MW; last year, Honolulu climbed back to 3rd place, a position it attained in 2016 and 2017, after having ranked 4th in 2018 and 2019.
In the past 7 years, the report added, the nation’s 50 largest cities more than doubled their total installed capacity.
In 2013, the first year of the study, eight of the cities surveyed had enough solar PV per capita to qualify as “Solar Stars” (cities with 50 or more watts of solar PV capacity installed per capita). In 2019, that number jumped to 26 cities, the report said.
The authors called for continued commitment to solar energy growth despite the economic plunge caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Now is the time to build the future we need, which means supporting the clean clean energy sector through the pandemic and incentivizing the broad deployment of clean energy technologies like solar at the federal level so we can advance a future powered entirely by renewable energy sources,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s campaign for 100% renewable energy.