“Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind”
You probably know the Ray Charles song. The Solar Energy Industries Association is singing it now. The trade group says Georgia sun is a major, untapped resource. Some of the best rays in the country, even the world, shine down on the state.
Georgia has another distinction, as a primary user and generator of coal-fired electricity in the United States, in part due to the energy-intensive wood and paper products industries centered there, the Energy Information Administration says.
But, done right, rooftop solar alone could generate more than a quarter of the power needs for Georgia, or more than nuclear does today, according to SEIA, the U.S. trade association for solar energy and related businesses.
The expansion of more than two dozen existing solar companies in Georgia could create hundreds of new jobs, too, says Association CEO Rhone Resch.
Georgia has its own Solar Energy Association, with more than 140 members.
Leaders with the group say the state lags behind others that offer incentives for solar energy, and is losing sun jobs and revenue to states like North Carolina, New Jersey and Florida. The group is pushing a solar-only tax credit, with hopes of being in the Top Ten in America by 2012.