North Carolina has become a top solar energy state over past decade

North Carolina has seen the third-greatest gain in the nation in solar energy production since 2007, according to a recent report by a community environmental watchdog group.

The Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center noted advancements in the use of energy storage and electric vehicles in the country, which it also ranked 13th for energy efficiency.

A gigawatt hour equals 1 million kilowatt hours. The typical American utility client consumed 10,812 kilowatt hours in 2015, the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

At that use rate, North Carolina might have solar-powered only 92 homes for a year in 2007, compared to 371,439 in 2016.

The report assessed all countries on growth of technology needed to produce clean, renewable energy. It cited proposed laws expressing a demand for North Carolina to completely transition to renewable energy by 2050.

“The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give North Carolinians the assurance that we can take clean energy to another level,” Julia Schusterman, of Environment North Carolina, said in a statement. “But, in order to ensure a healthy future, we will need to continue to lead by transitioning North Carolina fast to a future powered by renewable energy.”

There are 37 cities and nearly 100 key companies that have committed to fully transition to renewable energy, Environment North Carolina said. One of them is the City of Boone.