Energy Initiative Blogs

Solar Power in California

by Rajas Gupta | Feb 10, 2016

The overall energy needs for each state are growing on a regular basis due to the increasing amount of electricity dependency in the lives of the population and the rapid growth of the population doesn’t really make matters any better. This has lead to each state decreasing it’s dependency on non renewable sources of energy like coal and natural gas and increasing it’s ability to produce a higher amount of renewable energy like solar and wind power, hydroelectricity, biomass etc. in order to help divide the ever increasing energy load. This not only presents an ecologically friendly option, but in states like Arizona, where the abundance of sunlight is tremendous, it presents a more economically better option as well. 


California has become the first state in the United States of America with more than 5% of its annual utility scale electricity generation from utility solar power as according to United States Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly. The top 3 states for solar energy generation, as of 2014, in the United States of America were California, Arizona and Nevada, all known to have some of the best geographical environments for production of solar power.


Over the years, California has promoted solar power quite regularly through various state policies like a renewable portfolio standard that actually requires electricity providers to obtain around one third of the power they sell through renewable resources by 2020. California has also created a number of incentives, rebates and net metering policies to encourage individual and small scale solar capacity and by the end 2014, California had more than 2,300 MW of small scale solar capacity installed. California’s utility scale Solar plants generated a record 9.9 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2014, an increase of 6.1 MWh from 2013, making California’s solar production in 2014 three times more than that of the next highest state, Arizona. This was also more than all other states combined. 


The increase in California’s solar power production coincided with the decrease in hydroelectric generation due to the drought conditions, prompting it to be the primary cause of such an increase in solar power production along with the state’s constant drive to be a front runner in the production of renewable sources of energy. 



Macfarland, Allen. "California First State to Generate More than 5% of Electricity from Utility-scale Solar." U.S. Energy Information Administration. Today in Energy, 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2016. <>


Tietenberg, Tom and Lynne Lewis, “Energy: The Transition from Depletable to renewable Resources.” Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. Pearson, 2011. 171-172. Print.


Goodstein, Eban.S, Economics and The Environment. 1999.Print