SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, solar panels surged in popularity in the state and across the country in 2014, but Maine is still lagging due to lack of solar energy policy.
Business leaders and clean energy experts met at the Days Inn in South Portland Monday to discuss the year in review. The Days Inn recently installed 415 solar panels and Mt. Abram installed solar panels this year as well.
“There is no question that Maine businesses and people want to go solar,” said Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine
In 2014, solar power represented 36 percent of all new energy installations across the U.S., compared to 10 percent in 2012. This makes solar power the second largest source of new power in the U.S.
The Natural Resources Council said Maine installed less than 1 MW of solar panels in the last quarter of 2014, while New Hampshire installed more than twice that amount.
The Natural Resources Council credits the lag to the lack of specific polices to reduce barriers and costs for homeowners or business investments. Officials said Maine is the only state in New England without policies regarding solar panels.
In the 2104 session, the Maine legislature passed a bill to study the value of solar energy.