Energy. Environment. Economy.

Pennsylvania Lags in Green Energy Ranking

William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

A solar panel in Brigantine, NJ powers the Marine Mammal Stranding Station.

California leads the nation in clean energy according to a new report published by Clean Edge, a market research firm focused on the clean-tech industry. The annual report looks at 70 different factors related to technology, policy and capital investments. Pennsylvania does not even make the top 20, instead it ranks right in the middle at 24. Of a total of 100 points, Pennsylvania gets a 40.1.

When it comes to solar panel installations on the east coast, the hotbed of new sunsoaking power is New Jersey, which scores a little bit higher than Pennsylvania and ranks in the top 20. But the solar industry across the river in Pennsylvania is crumbling.

Solar energy development depends heavily on goverment incentives such as rebates, tax breaks and a tradable commodity knowns as SREC’s. SREC stands for solar renewable energy certificates. If a homeowner, or business, installs solar panels and contributes to the electrical grid, it gets credit for that production in the form of an SREC. Government regulations mandate public utilities use a certain amount of alternative energy. So the homeowner could sell that SREC on the open market to a utility company that needs a diversified energy portfolio.

Sales of those certificates is one way to recoup the high costs of installing solar power. But Pennsylvania solar incentives have created a glut of SREC’s sending the price down from a peak of about $300 a certificate to about $21 today.

State Rep. Chris Ross, a Republican from Chester County, has introduced a bill to increase the number of SREC’s utilities are required to buy, and mandate they purchase those credits from Pennsylvania sources.

But the bill is opposed by the Corbett Administration and the natural gas industry, and is currently stuck in committee.


  • Kathleen3

    California is on the brink of bankruptcy.  Kudos to PA for not falling into the UN/Gore propaganda.

  • KeepTapWaterSafe

    HB1580 deserves support, it’s a good bill. btw, Kathleen3, Harrisburg is in bankruptcy.  

  • Viki | GreenPointe.Energy

    This article demonstrates just
    how crucial the SREC market is to the renewable energy industry. It not only
    helps green businesses to grow but helps consumers to achieve much quicker
    payback on their solar energy systems.


    It’s refreshing to hear that
    State Representative Chris Ross from GP.Energy’s own Chester County brought a
    bill to the table that would require utility companies to bump up the number of
    SRECs they purchase, with exclusivity to Pennsylvania.


    And it’s good to know we have
    state representatives in our own county who are so forward-pressing with
    bringing green energy into Pennsylvania as a future norm.

    Viki Gevorgyan

  • Mike Straub

    Locally PA is rolling in more natural gas than they know what to do with, so while the farmers of nearly forgotten towns roll in money, and the government figures out exactly what to do, PA will probably lag behind in green energy generation for a while.  That being said, there are some incredible green energy ideas coming out of the state that are benefitting the entire world.

    Take a look at Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation in Lancaster.  They are in the process of building Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) operations around the world.  OTEC creates an endless flow of clean power from the temperature difference in shallow and deep water.  Plus, the only byproduct is millions of gallons of clean drinking water.  OTEC probably won’t be on the shores of the Susquehanna anytime soon, but for a developing country, in a warm climate, OTEC can dramatically improve lives for generations to come.

    Millions of people stand to benefit from this PA company, to learn more about how it works, and what they’re up to visit The On Project.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »