The biggest little state in the Union, aka Rhode Island, might be the nation’s smallest state, but its got a big heart for renewables. The state gets just under 4.5 kilowatt hours (kWhs) per square meter on a daily basis, which makes it a decent location for solar power.
Rhode Island was one of the first states in the country to adopt a renewable energy portfolio standard. It requires utilities to get 16 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. To help its residents adopt solar and other renewables, the state offers various financial incentives, like tax breaks and a feed-in-tariff.
Rhode Island’s renewable resources are not limited to solar power. The state has rich offshore wind potential. Its native Deepwater Wind has a 30-megawatt demonstration project at Block Island.
Rhode Island has the nation’s lowest overall electric use on a per capita basis, according to the DOE’s Energy Information administration. That’s thanks in part to mild summers, with little need for air conditioning and because most homes don’t use electricity to heat their homes in the winter.The state's average electric rate is 14.83 cents per kilowatt hour, which is well above the national average of 11.43 cents.
The low energy use and high electricity costs should make it easier for people to install solar and other renewables. The state also offeres a feed-n-tariff for larger solar installations.