Solar Energy

solar array in field

En español

According to the Maryland Energy Administration, our state has quadrupled our solar energy capacity from 258 megawatts to 1,000 megawatts since 2015.  That demonstrates the massive capacity and capability of our solar energy economy to grow!  We need to reach our Greenhouse Gas Reduction goal of cutting carbon emissions 40% by 2030, and ultimately to reach 100% clean renewable energy in order to address the threat of climate change to our extremely vulnerable coastal state. In order to meet and exceed these goals, Maryland will need to develop solar energy faster than current market forces alone are allowing. Sierra Club Maryland is motivated to facilitate the development of well-sited solar projects in Maryland.

Benefits of Solar Development in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic

  • Solar energy technologies are very versatile. Solar can generate electricity or heat and can be applied at the industrial or individual level.

  • Solar technologies have a long life span and require very little maintenance.

  • Installing solar panels increases a house’s value but does not increase Maryland state property tax.

  • Maryland has a Community Solar program available which can help low and middle income households, including renters, go solar.

  • Solar energy is a reliable source of energy which will last as long as the sun.

  • Solar energies don’t emit greenhouse gases and so don’t contribute to climate change.

  • Solar energy creates thousands of jobs and, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar photovoltaic installer jobs are projected to increase 105% by 2026.

  • Solar energy technologies can be integrated with agriculture to increase efficiency.

 What We’re Doing

  • Gathering information on the solar siting and zoning regulations in each county

  • Sharing guidance on good local policy on solar development that balance the need to expand solar energy with other legitimate concerns about the environment, agriculture, economic and job development, and other community interests

  • Working to educate members and the public about good solar siting policy and all of those FAQ about a dynamically improving green industry

How You Can Help!

Use the County Solar Regulation Assessment Tool to research where your county stands on solar regulation

Get involved in discussions in your county when solar projects are being proposed, for more information on solar development, check out these slides!

Sign up for community solar, purchase or lease solar panels for your rooftop, use a clean energy supplier for your retail choice energy, or select the green-rider for your electric cooperative! All of the above are not available for each area of Maryland.