July 19, 2018

Report: CT solar has grown 53% per year

Photos / Pablo Robles
Photos / Pablo Robles
A solar thermal system at Dowling on Main in Manchester.

Connecticut's solar energy generation has grown at a fast clip since 2010, according to new data in a report from a Colorado-based environmental advocacy nonprofit with a presence in multiple states.

Solar generation here totaled 463 gigawatt hours in 2017, according to this week's report from Environment America and Frontier Group.

That's up from 344 gigawatt hours in 2016, and just 30 gigawatt hours in 2010. Over those seven years, solar generation has grown at an average annual clip of 53 percent, according to data included in the report, which was sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The report's authors said the United States is generating nearly six times as much solar and wind energy as it did in 2008 -- growth that has come despite the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord and its push for what the authors called fossil-fuel friendly policies.

"Americans are forging ahead and adopting renewable energy in both the public and private sectors," said Rob Sargent, Environment America's energy program director.

Electric vehicle sales in Connecticut also reached their highest point yet last year, the report said. There were 993 electric vehicles sold last year, up from 585 the year prior, and 511 in 2016.

From 2011 to 2017, consumers purchased 2,896 electric cars, which was the 13th highest number in the country when compared to the total number of registered vehicles on the road.

Unlike some other states, Connecticut had virtually no wind energy growth over that time. However, the state is expected to receive 200 megawatts of generation capacity in the coming years from a major offshore wind project called Revolution Wind.

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