By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia trails other major American metropolitan areas in its use of solar power, but Gov. Tom Wolf is hoping that the solar initiative proposal in his next statewide budget will light a fire for stronger policies here and across the commonwealth.

A new report on solar energy by Penn Environment shows that Philadelphia ranks only 26th for installed solar capacity among US cities and 41st for per-capita solar power.

John Hanger, Gov. Wolf’s secretary of policy and planning (at lectern in top photo), says the Wolf administration’s proposed $200-million alternative energy package in the budget includes $50 million to jumpstart solar energy programs in Pennsylvania.

“Very frankly, for the last four years Pennsylvania dropped out of the alternative energy game,” Hanger says, because the Corbett administration had little interest in solar power and investment flowed elsewhere.

“They certainly were zealous about focusing on natural gas and, frankly, a lot of important energy opportunities fell off the plate,” Hanger said today.  He says tax credits and other incentives for solar power are good for the environment, for jobs, and for consumers.

“About a dollar spent here on solar can leverage three, four, five dollars of private investment,” he noted.