According to the new US Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), California has become the first US state to surpass 10,000MW of installed capacity.
California now boasts more solar capacity than many countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia and Belgium.
In the first quarter of 2015, California installed 718MW of solar energy, increasing the state’s total capacity to 10,649MW — enough energy to power around 2.6 million households. A wide range of markets in California’s solar sector experienced growth, as 231MW installed were residential, 88MW were commercial and 399MW were utility-scale.
Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO, said: “When it comes to creating clean energy jobs and protecting the environment, California is showing the world how to get the job done. To put the state’s remarkable progress in some context, today California has 10 times more installed solar capacity than the entire nation had in 2007. We congratulate Gov. Brown, his administration, legislative leaders and the people of California for being at the forefront of America’s efforts to create a vibrant and growing clean energy economy.”
Resch added that the key factors in regards to California’s continued solar growth lies in public policies such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Net Energy Metering (NEM).
So far this year, California has benefited from the completion of projects such as the Desert Sunlight project — an installation developed by First Solar that can generate 550MW of electricity.
Currently, there are 2,226 solar companies present in California, boasting around 54,700 employees.