Solar energy may be all that California needs

March 20, 2015 0 By Alicia Moore
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Report shows that solar energy could meet all of California’s electricity needs

The Carnegie Institute for Science has released a new report that suggests California could see major benefits from solar energy. The report shows that solar power could supply as much as five times the state’s energy needs. California has long been a supporter of clean energy, especially solar power, but the state continues to rely on fossil-fuels and hydropower to produce much of its energy. Solar power may soon reach a point where other forms of energy are no longer needed in the state.

Urban areas may be ideal homes for solar energy projects

The report suggests that it would be possible to develop solar energy systems that do not disturb any natural habitat or cause any negative environmental impact. Urban areas could be quite attractive options for the state. These areas are ideal for roof-top solar energy systems, which can be used to feed clean energy into the state’s electric infrastructure. Building these solar energy systems would also require the least amount of land, as they can be built on already existing structures.

Solar projects could produce 15,000 TWh of electrical power each year

Solar Energy - Sunset in San FranciscoThe state may also benefit from building new solar energy systems along roadways and near existing power lines. This would allow for more efficient grid connection and provide the state with a way to generate a great deal of power without also taking up precious land resources. The report suggests that small and utility-scale projects could generate as much as 15,000 terawatt hours of energy every year using traditional photovoltaic technology. This means that the state does not have to invest in or wait for new solar technology to be developed.

State continues to pursue its sustainability goals

California intends to derive no less than 33% of its electrical power from renewable sources by 2020. This is an initiative that will help the state reduce the carbon emissions it produces every year. The state hopes to reduce its emissions by 80% below what they were in 1990 by 2050, focusing on clean transportation and renewable energy in order to accomplish this goal.