New solar installations are booming in the sunshine state. Installations in California grew by 26% in 2012 from the previous year, according to a report by the Public Utilities Commission. A record-setting 391 megawatts of solar power were installed in 2012, which made it the biggest year ever for rooftop solar installations.
The California Solar Initiative is in largely responsible for the strong growth in solar. The program commenced back in 2007 and has a goal of helping California residents install 1,940 megawatts of solar power capacity by 2016. So far, that goal is set to be met early. According to the LA Times, California is now equipped to produce 1,629 megawatts of solar power from 168,000 locations.
The $24 billion program also has the goal of making the solar market in California self-sustaining. Most of the funding is going into solar incentives, which are on top of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. Although the initiative has been scaling back rebates recently, demand for installing solar power is still strong and is expected to continue.
As capacity grows, and prices become cheaper, solar power is expected to become a significant and substantial part of California’s energy mix.