The latest California Green Innovation Index by Next 10 shows that solar has grown 1,378 percent between 2009 and 2014. Moreover all forms of renewable energy and electric vehicles are experiencing significant growth in the Golden State even as the state increases its economic growth.
The index found that as of 2014, 25 percent of California’s energy needs were met by renewable energy sources and that they generated 20.1 percent of the state’s electricity that year. That’s up from 12 percent in 2009. The report also revealed some interesting facts like the state's top areas for commercial and residential solar power, which are Riverside, San Bernardino-Ontario. However, Fresno led the state in industrial solar power.
The report also found that in 2015 California installed 3.3 gigawatts of solar panels in 2015 alone, which brought the state’s total 13.2 gigawatts of solar power. The report also found that utility-scale solar power provided 15,592 gigawatt hours of California’s electricity in 2015. In 2011 it only supplied 1,000 gigawatt hours.
“As the 6th largest economy in the world and an innovator in climate and energy policy, California is forging a decoupling between economic growth and carbon emissions per capita,” said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of Next 10. “California is not only the fourth-most energy productive economy in the world, the state also leads in key clean tech indicators, like clean tech patents and investment.”
The wide-ranging report found California’s energy efficiency has increased, making it more productive than the rest of the US. “Given the same amount of energy, California had 1.8 times as much economic activity as the rest of the country,” the Next 10 report stated. At the same time the average monthly residential electric bill was 20 percent lower than the US average. The report attributed it to higher levels of energy efficiency in the state.
“California is a global leader when it comes to expanding its economy without increasing per capita emissions—this trend represents a shift from old growth models,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, an independent research and consulting firm, which compiled the Index for Next 10.Tweet