Kansas City, Missouri - Kansas City and St. Louis ranked thirtieth and thirty-first, respectively, for solar energy capacity per capita among the nation’s leaders. The results come from the seventh edition of Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, a new report released today by Environment Missouri Research & Policy Center. It is the most comprehensive survey available of installed solar capacity in major U.S. cities.
Independence, Missouri, which is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area has been leading the way for the area in the report. “Independence strives to be the Greenest City in America. While that sounds like an audacious goal, we possess many of the assets needed to make this a reality, especially through our public electric, water, and sewer utilities,” says Independence Mayor Eileen Weir. “Independence is the largest provider of municipal solar power in Missouri with many commercial and residential subscribers. We developed solar power to meet the demand of our community for clean, affordable, maintenance-free renewable energy to power their homes and businesses.”
Beyond the findings in Missouri, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the past seven years. The analysis found that of the 57 cities surveyed in all seven editions of this report, almost 90 percent more than doubled their total installed solar PV capacity between 2013 and 2019.
"I'm proud that the City of St. Louis has earned the designation of Solar Leader in Environment America's 2020 Shining Cities report," said Mayor Lyda Krewson. "Renewable energy is instrumental in the City's move towards decarbonization, and supporting solar energy is an important step to a brighter, healthier future for our citizens. There are many cost-effective ways to pursue carbon neutrality. We recently created a Solar Ready Ordinance for most new construction, and existing buildings - both residential and commercial - can now take advantage of discounted group buy programs for solar panels."
Overall, this year’s Shining Cities survey ranked 70 of America’s major cities by solar energy capacity. Honolulu placed first overall for solar energy capacity per capita, while Los Angeles finished No. 1 in total solar energy capacity installed. Leaders in per capita solar capacity region were: Honolulu in the Pacific region; Las Vegas in the Mountain region; Indianapolis in the North Central region; San Antonio in the South Central region; Jacksonville, Fla., in the South Atlantic region; and Burlington, Vt., in the Northeast region.
These numbers show tremendous progress, but the continued implementation of key policies, like those outlined in Environment Missouri Research & Policy Center’s Renewables on the Rise report will be critical to keep clean energy growing.
“With the continued growth in solar at risk in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we must make smart policy choices in this space," said Bridget Sanderson, director of Environment Missouri. "That means taking steps to build the future we need, by investing in infrastructure that advances a future powered entirely by renewable energy sources."
Environment Missouri works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment Missouri is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.