California generates more than 5% of its power from solar energy

April 6, 2015 0 By Stephen Vagus

California reaches new milestone with its solar energy capacity in 2014

California has become the first state in the United States to generate more than 5% of its electrical power from solar energy. The Energy Information Administration has released a new report that shows that California has made significant progress with its renewable energy endeavors. The state has been investing quite heavily in solar power over the past few years in an effort to spur economic growth and become more environmentally friendly.

State’s solar power systems generated 9.9 million MWh of electrical power last year

The report shows that utility-scale solar energy systems in California have generated a record 9.9 million megawatt-hours of electricity in 2014. This is a 6.1 million megawatt-hour increase over the solar generation recorded in 2013. According to the report, California’s utility-scale solar output was three times higher than the state with the next highest solar output: Arizona. California’s solar energy capacity is expected to continue growing as the state invests more of its attention to clean power.

Ongoing drought pressures state to seek out other forms of energy

Solar Energy - Solar CapacityCalifornia has been in the grip of a longstanding and severe drought. This has had a major impact on the state’s ability to generate electrical power, since a significant portion of California’s energy comes from hydropower systems. Dwindling water resources are forcing the state to turn to other forms of energy in order to avoid a serious power crisis. Though the state has been a strong supporter of solar energy for several years now, only recently has California bolstered its efforts to develop a renewable energy infrastructure that could replace its reliance on hydropower.

4.3 GW of solar energy capacity was installed in California in 2014

In 2014, California installed more than 4,316 megawatts of solar energy capacity, which is more than the entire United States had installed throughout the country between the years of 1970 and 2011. The capacity that California installed last year is enough to power more than 1 million average homes. Much of this capacity comes from utility-scale projects that have been financially supported by the state government.