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California Solar Power History

SolarEnergy.net was curious as to where this explosive growth in solar panel installations occurred within California. Rather than reading over data and spreadsheets, they thought it would be interesting to create an interactive heat map that depicts the concentration of solar installations (number of systems, total watts, average system size, and carbon emissions) in California and the progress solar has made over the last decade. Feel free to scroll through the years to see how the numbers change from year to year. It's fun and educational!

According to the California Energy Commission, solar energy, in particular photovoltaic produced power has grown massively in recent years. Prior to 2002, only 1,675 grid connected photovoltaic installations were registered with the commission. Fast forward to 2008, and there are 29,628 installations recorded. That's a 17x increase in just 6 years! In just the last 3 years, total installations have more than doubled, with 14,058 installs in 2005.

California Solar Installs California Solar Watts

Looking at the average system size over the years, one can tell that early adopters of solar were most likely corporate establishments (with a larger system requirement). As solar power became a more viable option for the average homeowner, the system size lowered and the number of systems increased. The amount of carbon emissions saved by solar systems is incredible. By the end of 2007, these systems have saved over 533 kilotons of carbon emissions from going into our atmosphere.

California Solar System Size California Solar Carbon Emissions

* Source data from the California Energy Commission