23/02/2017 12:15 GMT

New York Has Grown Its Solar Power By Almost 800% In Only Five Years

The big apple goes green🍏

We may have found seven new planets capable of hosting life, but it is still pretty important that we focus on saving the one we already have here.

So in a time where there isn’t always a lot of good news about climate change, we’re pleased to hear that New York has been making strides in renewable energy.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

In fact, the east-coast US state has seen an almost 800% growth (well 795% to be exact) in solar power in the last five years, with the most being in Long Island and Central New York.

By the end of 2016, the state had 64,926 solar panel installations – enough to meet the requirements of 121,000 average homes - and a massive leap from the 9,079 that were around in December 2011.

In an official statement, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who has been instrumental in the state supported take-up, announced on Tuesday that almost $1.5 billion had also been leveraged in private investment for the eco-friendly projects.

And that’s not all, there is a load more solar plans in the pipeline, with more than 886 MW of additional capacity in development coming in 2017, which equates to more than 150,000 homes. 

This shift in focus to renewable energy is partially thanks to the state’s commitment to 50% of electricity being sourced from renewable means by 2030.

As well as this, falling prices, and installers targeting consumers directly means that adoption rates have rapidly grown. 

Back in 2012, Governor Cuomo’s launched the NY-Sun initiative, which aimed to add more than three gigawatts of installed solar capacity in the state by 2023.

Cuomo said: “New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewable technology’s increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses.”  

The largest percentage increase in solar power was in the Mohawk Valley, and the Finger Lakes region.