California’s Solar Cities 2012: Leaders in the Race Toward a Clean Energy Future

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


Executive Summary

California’s solar market is thriving. Ten years ago, solar panels atop roofs were a rarity. Today, solar is taking hold in cities across the state, from coastal metropolises to agricultural and industrial hubs in the Central Valley. In the past two years alone, the solar  industry has installed more than 5,000 kilowatts of solar power in each of 10 different California cities.

*Solar energy makes sense for California. Each new solar panel helps to clean our air, fight global warming, improve the reliability of our electricity grid, boost the economy, and create much- needed jobs.

California has just begun to tap into the vast potential of solar energy. Governments, utilities and the public should continue to work together toward a clean energy future.

*All solar capacity figures in this report are presented in terms of alternating current watts, measured under California Energy Commission PTC test conditions, unless otherwise noted.

Solar cities are the heart of California’s thriving solar market.

  • San Diego leads all California cities in terms of the number of solar installations on residential, commercial and government buildings, with more than 4,500 projects installed. San Diego also leads the state in terms of overall solar generation capacity, with nearly 37 megawatts (MW). (See Table ES-1.) If San Diego were a nation unto itself, it would rank among the top 25 nations in the world in terms of solar capacity, with more solar power than the entire nation of Mexico.
  • Los Angeles ranks second, with more than 4,000 solar installations adding up to more than 36 MW of power generation capacity.
  • San Jose ranks third, with more than 2,700 solar installations and 31 MW of solar electric generation capacity.
  • In addition, San Francisco, Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Rosa, Roseville, Clovis, Sacramento and Oakland all have more than 1,000 solar installations. In terms of generation capacity, Fresno, San Francisco, Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Santa Rosa all have more than 10 MW installed.


Read full report (PDF): California’s Solar Cities 2012

About Environment California
“Environment California is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We believe there’s something special about California — something worth protecting and preserving for future generations. Whether it’s our magnificent Pacific coastline, Yosemite’s ‘glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space,’ or our 278 state parks, California’s natural wonders enrich our lives in countless ways.”

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