Salt Lake City – Salt Lake City ranks tenth for solar energy in a new report, landing it among the nation’s leaders for installing clean energy from the sun.
“Cities like Salt Lake City are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Bret Fanshaw with Environment America Research & Policy Center and report co-author. “By tapping into more of our vast solar energy potential, we can benefit from cleaner air and fight climate change.”
Salt Lake City ranked ahead of San Antonio, Texas, and just behind Riverside, Calif., for megawatts of solar energy per capita as of year-end 2017. The city has used solar energy as a means of realizing its goal of transitioning the city to 100% renewable energy by 2032 and reducing local impacts of climate change.
“As a city warming at twice the global average, it’s critical that we do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Supporting solar energy in all its forms is one of the best ways to do that. We’re proud to be one of the leading cities working hard to bring more solar energy to our community and to our municipal portfolio. We urge other cities to join with us in standing for a greener, cleaner, and more resilient future.”
Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah’s leading clean energy group, Utah Clean Energy, emphasizes the value of continuing solar growth in the state. “Solar represents thousands of local jobs and clean, homegrown energy for Utah,” said Wright. “As one of the sunniest states in the nation, Utah has come a long way in accelerating solar adoption, but in reality we’ve only scratched the surface of Utah’s amazing solar energy resource. With innovative community and policy solutions, we can become number one in the nation for solar, and reap the full benefits that solar energy provides to our community, climate and economy.”
The report, Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, shows that the top 20 solar cities, comprising just 0.1 percent of the country’s land mass, account for 4 percent of U.S. solar capacity.
“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Fanshaw. “More local leaders should step up and start plugging their communities into the clean and virtually limitless power of the sun.”
Shining Cities is the fifth annual report from Environment America Research & Policy Center. Each year, the survey ranks nearly 70 of the nation’s major cities by megawatts of solar energy.