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Rooftop solar use is on the rise, which is good news. But here's how much it could improve

Environment America found that we're only tapping 1/28 of our rooftop solar potential
Community solar options grow
Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 21:51:43-05

Over the last 10 years, the U.S. has improved on its solar use. But there's still a lot of untapped renewable energy that we're not using. That's what a new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center shows.

They analyzed rooftop solar use in 2022 and found the U.S. produced 10 times as much energy from solar, compared to a decade ago. That's enough to power every house in the state of Pennsylvania, or 5.7 million homes.

While solar energy can save people money on their utility bill, the impact goes beyond that.

"So when you couple rooftop solar with battery, storage, and community micro grids it can help keep the power on— even in the face of extreme weather events, like hurricanes and wildfires and floods which can make a huge difference in people's lives. Rooftop solar also eases strain on the electric grid during periods of peak demand," said Johanna Neumann with Environment America.

But the organization found that we're only tapping 1/28 of our rooftop solar potential.

"So we'd like to see continued growth to get more solar on homes and apartments. But also on the big, flat, sunny warehouses and superstores that dot America," said Neumann.

To see how much solar energy your state is using, and how more of it could benefit you, Environment America has created a tool with this report breaking it all down.