With 132 megawatts of solar installed within its city limits Los Angeles is the city with the highest amount of installed solar in the U.S., according to Environment California Research & Policy Center’s new report: “Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution.”
The report, released yesterday (April 10), is a first-of-its-kind comparative look at the growth of solar energy in major American cities, the center said. It ranked the top 20 cities in the country with the most solar power. While five of those cities were in California, the rest were in other states including Texas, Colorado, Hawaii and Louisiana.
“Solar power is booming across the country and cities are at the forefront,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate at Environment California. “And with several of the nation’s top shining cities, California is leading the way.”
L.A. Councilmember Paul Koretz praised the results, but looked to the work ahead. ”I’m proud that L.A. is leading the nation on installed solar, but with the release of the disturbing new IPCC report on climate change and the increase of severe weather events around the world, it is clear we need to do more, faster, to address the climate crisis and move away from fossil fuels," he said. "From the top of city hall, I want to see solar panels built across the rooftops of Los Angeles and I want us to put Angelenos to work building them."
While L.A. tops the list for overall solar when it comes to terms of the amount of solar power per person Hawaii’s Honolulu is tops. The city, dubbed a “Solar Star” for having more than 50 watts of solar per person has 91 megawatts of installed solar (fifth on the overall list), which is equivalent to 265 watts per person.
California, which has had the largest incentive program for solar power, had four cities in the top 10 in terms of solar. San Diego, with 107 megawatts of solar was second; San Jose, with 94 megawatts was fourth; San Francisco, with 26 megawatts was ninth and Sacramento, with 16 megawatts was twelfth. Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina were at the bottom of the list with 12 megawatts installed.
The report also pointed out the benefits of solar beyond pollution reduction and local energy, which includes jobs. For instance, it said that California has more than 47,000 jobs in the solar industry. It also pointed to the rapid growth of the industry.
Policies helped the cities become leaders in solar, according to the report. Among them were tax incentives, group purchasing programs and low-interest rate loan programs. The report also pointed to city leaders’ ability to work with the federal government to assure that federal programs will also help more people go solar.Tweet