Rooftop solar is on the rise in Maryland

Media Contacts
Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America

BALTIMORE – Maryland ranks 10th in the nation for growth in small-scale solar power generation in the past decade, according to a new report released today by Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group. The report, Rooftop solar on the rise: Small solar projects are delivering 10 times as much power as a decade ago, tracks the dramatic increase in rooftop solar power over the last decade, illustrates how far we have yet to go to take full advantage of our solar energy potential, and recommends policies to keep rooftop solar rising.

“Today, in Maryland you can get your energy straight from your roof,” said Johanna Neumann, Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy with Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center.Why pay for power from a distant plant spewing pollution when we can just soak up the sun on our rooftops?”

Rooftop solar reduces dependence on fossil fuels, eases strain on the grid during periods of high electricity demand, increases resilience to threats such as extreme weather, and limits the amount of land needed to produce clean energy, all at a steadily falling cost. Small-scale solar energy, of which rooftop solar is the largest component, is growing rapidly in the United States, producing 10 times as much power in 2022 as it did a decade earlier. The trend holds true in Maryland, where small-scale solar produced 1,174 more GWh of energy than it did in 2012. 

Rooftop solar has taken off over the past five years in Maryland. Residential solar grew 88% from 2017 through 2022. Over the same time period small-scale commercial solar grew 55%. In total, small-scale solar in Maryland generated 1,283 GWh of electricity in 2022, enough electricity to power 119,694 average U.S. households. 

Despite gains over the last decade, rooftop solar is still a largely untapped resource. The report finds that the United States has so far tapped only 1/28th of its rooftop solar potential. It could meet about 45% of national electricity sales in 2022, but in 2022, the U.S. only generated about 1.5% of all the electricity it used from rooftop solar. 

The report identifies solar incentives, supportive rate design, interconnection policies and permitting processes as four crucial policies that can determine how successful a state is at tapping its rooftop solar potential.

“We want a future powered by clean energy, so we should be deploying rooftop solar everywhere we can. Every sunny roof without solar panels is a missed opportunity,” said Neumann. “With federal tax credits in place to boost solar adoption in Maryland, now is the time to lean in.”

In Maryland the state legislature is considering a number of policies in 2024 to add new incentives for solar and streamline the permitting process. The Brighter Tomorrow Act, sponsored by State Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo would codify recommendations from the Maryland Task Force to Study Solar Incentives. A separate bill sponsored by State Sen. Kramer and Del. David Fraser Hidalgo directs counties and municipalities to adopt modern permitting technology to reduce consumer costs and wait times.

“This session I am proud to sponsor a variety of bills on solar incentives,” said  Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo. “It is imperative that we move away from fossil fuels as soon as possible, and support legislation that moves us towards a clean, green, and just future.”


Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment.