California Just Had a Stunning Increase in Solar

Bloomberg | March 26, 2015 | Column by Tom Randall

The Golden State produces more utility-scale solar than all the other states combined

California is now the first U.S. state to get 5 percent of its annual utility-scale electricity from the sun. But that's really understating what just happened. 

The chart above, released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shows that in just one year, big solar jumped from 1.9 percent to 5 percent of the state's total power generation. California isn't just producing the most utility-scale solar electricity of any state; it's producing more than all the other states combined

And that's only what the major electricity producers are generating—it doesn't include rooftop solar, in which California is also leading the nation. In small-scale solar, capacity for another 2.3 gigawatts has been installed, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. 

Renewable energy, including hydro power and rooftop solar, now constitutes about a third of California's electricity, a remarkable feat accomplished through renewable requirements for utilities and incentives for homeowners. 

But even that understates California's recent gains in renewable energy. Because as solar has bloomed, hydroelectric power has been slashed by more than half, by what's been called the state's worst drought in at least 1,200 years

In California, water has become scarce, but sunshine remains plentiful.

Do you like this post?

Showing 2 reactions

@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2015-04-01 15:48:32 -0400
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about California Just Had a Stunning Increase in Solar on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-04-01 15:48:32 -0400
California Just Had a Stunning Increase in Solar
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.