California Has 4 Shining Examples of Solar Power Loving Cities

It’s no secret that people in California love solar power. Community support, climate, and business support has helped solar power grow in the state, but when it comes to helping a city go solar, the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is the true hero. California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard required that 20% of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2010, and the number is expected to be 33% by 2020. The initiative supports energy from a variety of renewable resources, but much of the state’s electricity comes from the sun.

The state standards may be why California seems to be leading the country’s cities with solar power consumption. The Environment California Research and Policy Center has been examining the way Americans use solar power, and their results may change the way people view current environmental policies. According to a report released in the beginning of April, the United States has more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic capacity (PV) installed today as it did in the year 2002. All of this could be because the price of solar power installations has gone down over the years, and the public perception of solar as a power source has gone up. Most people believed that solar power would become more popular in more suburban and rural areas, but the report shows the opposite. Despite the fact that solar has become more popular and more affordable, the vast majority of solar power users live in urban areas.

 solar panels in San Francisco

Twenty cities that account for just 0.1% of the land area in the country make up 7% of national solar PV capacity. The amount of solar power in those top 20 cities today is greater than the solar power installed in the entire country six years ago. Out of the 20 cities that were examined in the study, four were in the great state of California. Solar energy in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento  grew in 2013, since these cities had the most installed PV last year.

This is excellent news for California, but leaves people wondering when solar power will catch on in non-urban areas. Cities have a lot of space for solar panel installations, but there’s even more space available in suburban areas and out in the country. If there were more solar installations throughout the area, electricity would become a lot less expensive, and lot greener. Support from more local and state government programs could help solar power become a reality for many people in the suburbs. As panels become more efficient, another drop in price could help solar look more appealing to others. California may be leading in cities, but there are still millions of residents that could benefit from solar power.