With solar costs coming down incredibly, more and more states in US are trying to adopt commercial solar. States that would fail to encourage the solar trend now, when the costs are low, will risk missing out on important economic development opportunities.
South Dakota is facing a similar situation right now.
The state's renewable energy industry is experiencing a tough time. The state has not made lot of headlines in the renewable energy department and in 2017, Solar Energy Industries Association even ranked it dead. The percentage of electricity generated by solar in South Dakota couldn't even register on the needle and the five-year prospects for growth were zero. Not much of South Dakota is a prime area for solar development, however, the entire south-western corner of the state possesses decent solar resources.
The solar lease options may not be very attractive in the state, but Audubon Society seems a little ray of hope for the solar industry in South Dakota. The Governor, Kristi Noem has lately signed a legislation to ramp up the state's solar and wind industries. The new agreement would be issued by the Office of School and Public Lands, and would cover easements.
Washington will also see a ray of hope.
An energy legislation would be passed this year in Washington, which would not be the sweeping measure to tackle climate change, but it will surely do more good than harm for the climate and the country.
California will set an example for other states.
California's first-in-the-nation requirement that all new homes should have solar panels is undeniably a giant leap towards its goal of a fossil-free future. The state will set an example for other states in the US.
With 80,000 houses built in California every year, the mandate that will come to effect in 2020 will more than double the amount of solar energy produced in the state by 2025. California hopes to have 100% of its electricity come from carbon emission-free sources by 2045.
Within the past few years, a few cities in California have implemented requirements that all new homes have solar panels, like the town of South Miami in Florida. But, this is the first time that the law will be rolled-out on a large scale.
Wind and solar have come a long way. Today, these sources produce about 9% percent of the electricity in US, their costs have declined dramatically and using these renewable sources is definitely a major step towards a green planet.