In stark contrast to the booming renewable energy industry of their neighbors to the north, South Carolina’s clean energy sector is relegated to a small amount of electricity generated by biomass and hydropower. All in all, renewables make up just 5% of South Carolina’s electricity portfolio.1
South Carolina is one of the few states without a renewable portfolio standard and has long strangled its solar industry by outlawing solar leasing and capping the output of commercial and industrial projects.2
But the state is slowly warming up to renewable energy.
Last year, the state legislature legalized solar leasing3
and raised the cap on non-residential solar output by 1,000%.4
At an event celebrating the new laws, Governor Nikki Haley said “When you look at North Carolina and you look at Georgia, they've been doing pretty well when it comes to solar energy -- and they don't have any more sun than we do.” That’s true, and it shows the power of policy.
South Carolina also has a significant amount of offshore wind potential, and a gradual ramping up of the state’s offshore wind industry would create nearly 34,000 jobs – significantly more than offshore oil and gas drilling would.5
Learn more about energy in South Carolina with ACORE’s Renewable Energy in the 50 States