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California Doubles Solar Installations In 2013
The U.S. solar industry has grown leaps and bounds over the past year and California has been leading the charge. California has increased its number of rooftop solar installations over the course of the year, from generating 1,000 megawatts of energy to 2,000 MW.
Took 30 Years To Reach Solar Goal
To put that in perspective, the California Solar Energy Industries Association said it took the state 30 years to get to only 1,000 MW of solar, which the state reached in the early part of 2013. Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA, said in a statement that California is not stopping there.
"The California Public Utilities Commission's latest figures report 1,917 MW of rooftop solar, but those numbers exclude basically all of Pacific Gas and Electric's 2013 installations, by far the largest market in the state, as well as a significant number of installations in other utility territories," Del Chiaro said. "When utility-scale solar projects are added in, California's total solar power picture well-exceeds 4,000 MW today - nearly twice as much installed capacity as exists at California's last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon."
Record Pace To Reach Initial Projections
Del Chiaro also said if California continues at its 2013 pace, the state could reach 5,000 MW in 2014. This would far exceed the original goals of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, which originally wanted to install 3,000 MW of rooftop solar power by 2016.
Much of the new solar power installations can be attributed to residential properties. The California Public Utilities Commission announced in November it would shift $5 million from the San Diego California Solar Initiative budget to homeowners. The $5 million would go toward installing home solar systems that would generate 25 MW of solar energy.
California is not the only state that has had success in the solar power industry. The nation as a whole has been increasing its solar use as well, Bloomberg reported. More than 200,000 homes and businesses throughout the U.S. have added rooftop solar panels. This is the equivalent of 3 gigawatts of power.
The end of the year was the time when the solar industry saw the most action. From August 2013 to the end of September 2013, more than 31,000 rooftop installations were added to residential properties, Bloomberg reported. The progress did not stop there as 72 percent of the power added in October was attributed to solar.
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