According to a 2012 report published by Environment California Research and Policy Center, San Diego is California’s top city in solar use. The city came first both in terms of commercial, government, and residential solar panels installations and in terms of total amount of solar power generated. The report stated that if San Diego were a nation, it would be one of the top 25 nations in the world in terms of solar capacity, generating more solar power than the entire country of Mexico.
In total, San Diego has completed over 4,500 solar power projects and generates approximately 37 megawatts of solar power. Los Angeles came in a close second, generating 36 megawatts. To put megawatts into usage; one megawatt is equal to the amount of electricty used by approxiamtely 750 average residential homes.
Califronia's solar projects are not only good for the environment, but also for their economy. Solar = jobs, and the state’s solar installation market is projected to keep growing. Experts predict that 1 million residential solar projects will be completed by 2020, from installation companies such as Solaire Energy Systems, which will add $30 billion to the economy and create 20,000 jobs each year.
The solar installation market in California is one of the strongest in the nation, and it will be interesting to see if San Diego keeps it's top position in the coming years. In addition to highlighting the top solar cities, the report also highlights three specific things that could be done to ensure the state’s title:
Increase the use of solar energy systems in new construction by requiring all new homes to include on-site renewable electricity generation by no later than 2020, and all new non-residential buildings by no later than 2030.
Introduce a net-zero energy building code requirement and maintain or enhance the incentive value of net metering and lift the cap on its use to allow all California ratepayers to benefit from going solar.
Make certain that the state reaches it's goal in the "Million Solar Roofs Initiative" by the end of 2016.