Solar Power in California: No Signs of Slowing Down

Bob Farnham | June 22, 2015 | Industry Knowledge

Let’s play the word association game. I say a word or phrase and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Here’s the phrase: Solar Power. Answer? Most people either say sunshine or California. The Golden State is so synonymous with the solar power movement that it’s hard to even compare California solar production with other states in terms of raw numbers. But hey, let’s give it a shot. It’ll be fun.

The Numbers

In 2014, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), California saw its solar capacity increase by over 1 million homes. The number two state, North Carolina, added capacity equal to 43,000 homes. Now of course, North Carolina is much smaller than its West Coast cousin in terms of population, so let’s look at the solar data for Texas, our country’s second largest state by population.

Last year, Texas saw its solar capacity go up by 128.9 MW, or the equivalent of 14,000 homes, but again, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 4316 MW added by California. As you can see, California remains the country’s undisputed leader in solar. And it’s not even close. Which brings us to the next question. Why California?

What makes California so solar-friendly?

  1. Weather: You can’t have widespread solar adoption without plentiful sunshine, and California is one of the sunniest states in the country. According to Current Results, California is sunny during 68% of daylight hours, compared to a state like Washington, in which sunlight only reaches the ground for an average of 47% of the day. Favorable environmental conditions have led to more competition in California, which has led to better solar options for consumers and higher adoption levels. Switching to solar power in California is starting to sound like a better idea every day to most residents as technology becomes more efficient and less expensive. Go ahead, soak up the sun!
  2. Policy: Effective policy can be a catalyst for positive change, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen in California over the last decade. First put into motion in 2002 and expanded several times since, California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard calls for 25% of the state’s electricity to be produced from renewable resources by 2016, with that number rising to 33% by 2020. And from there, well, the sky’s the limit and solar is the best way to get there.
  3. Good Vibes: Policy can’t get off the ground without a population backing it, and overwhelmingly, residents of California have shown strong support for sustainable energy initiatives. West coast transplants and native Californians have a rich history of propagating social change and making waves when it comes to eco-friendly practices. Clearly, as demonstrated by the number of new installs referenced earlier, the people of California are primed to invest in solar energy systems when given affordable options. According to Clean Technica, solar costs are poised to drop another 40% over the next two years. Install solar now, free yourself from the limitations of traditional electricity production. Sustain yourself.

Considering solar panels in California?

Just Energy Solar is a leading provider of solar power in California. We serve customers from San Diego to the Bay area and everywhere in between. If you’re considering buying solar panels in Southern California, you can get all the info you need from one of our personal solar advisors. Contact Just Energy Solar today to find out what energy rebates and incentives are available in your area.


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