Study shows 5 percent solar shortchanges Californias growth
We recently discussed California’s impressive growth in clean energy, with solar power accounting for 5 percent of total electricity production across the state in 2014. However, Breaking Energy recently released its estimates on small-scale solar production, such as residential solar panels and small business installations, which weren’t taken into account by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
According to the report, California’s solar generation was actually closer to 7.4 percent of total energy production.
Pete Danko, a contributor with the news source, wrote that small solar power systems in the state generated approximately 5,024 gigawatt hours throughout 2014. This doesn’t put solar in fourth for renewable energy production, but rather in second behind only big dam generation.
GTM Research notes that many small-scale solar projects are installed outside of the state incentive program, meaning they aren’t taken into account with official estimates. As such, overall solar power generation is much higher than predicted.
Breaking Energy developed its estimated based on 2011 figures from Energy and Environmental Economics, which reported about 2,200 gigawatt hours of installed capacity. Massive growth over the last few years in residential solar panels is estimated to have doubled this capacity, resulting in the source’s 5,024 gigawatt hours estimate.
Other sources have estimated varying numbers for small-scale solar generation ranging from 2,887 to 3,348 megawatts.
As homeowners continue to install solar panels on their roofs and businesses consider the benefits of a solar array for their operations, these numbers will continue to climb, helping to retain California’s place as the number one solar-producing state. If you’re considering contributing to this growth and investing in solar panels for your home, contact SolarMax Technology for financing and installation information.
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