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Monday, December 6, 2010 - 5:04am

Report: Georgia Needs Solar Growth

A study from Arizona State University’s school of business looked at how much solar energy a state can generate and how much it costs to do it.

Georgia came in third behind Colorado and Arizona.

Matt Croucher, the study’s author, says it’s because the state has plenty of sunshine and companies that manufacture solar panels.

"Georgia had a relatively good score even though there’s a potential issue in that, at the moment, there isn’t a huge or significant amount of solar being deployed in Georgia."

Joy Kramer of the Georgia Solar Energy Alliance says the state still lags behind others in solar development.

"The funny thing is Georgia Power is still testing solar. And at a certain point you have to say, 'What else do you need to find out here? We know this is a reliable source of energy. It doesn’t use our precious water resources like nuclear power does.'"

Recently the state Public Service Commission approved a slight increase in the amount of solar Georgia Power can buy. But solar advocates wanted more.

Customers who enroll in the company’s Green Energy program can pay a higher price for blocks of the solar energy.

Georgia Power officials say solar is still too expensive when compared to coal and nuclear.