The state of Colorado ranks eighth in the nation per capita for solar installations, according to a new report issued today by Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center.

This makes Colorado one of a dozen states that have led the nation in solar energy with supportive policies and a commitment to expansion, the center stated in a news release. 

The report, "Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America's Top 12 Solar States," stated that in 2012, solar capacity in Colorado grew by 14.8 percent, bringing it to a total of 270 megawatts.

The top 10 states in cumulative solar capacity, as ranked in the report, starting at No. 1, are Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, California, Delaware, Colorado, Vermont and Massachusetts.

"The sky's the limit on solar energy," said Jeanne Bassett, senior associate with Environment Colorado. "Colorado's progress should make us confident that we can do much more. Our message today is clear: If you want your state to be a leader in pollution-free solar energy, set big goals and get good policies on the books."

America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity as it did in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as it did in 2007, the report stated. Also, the price of solar panels fell by 26 percent in 2012.

 Environment Colorado credited the solar growth to the leadership of Colorado officials and those in other leading states profiled in the report.