Reducing installation costs give boost to California solar industry

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Greentech Lead America: California is setting new benchmark for solar installation. With a population of 38 million, the third largest state in the U.S has installed 1,692 MW solar capacity through the end of the first quarter of 2013.

California plans to install 1,750 MW of new solar power plants on residential and commercial rooftops in the state by 2016.

This is part of the state’s $3.3 billion effort launched in 2007 that aims to install 3,000 MW of new solar capacity over the next decade.

California is the largest producer of solar power in the U.S. Solar adoption is increasing in the state thanks to the decreasing cost of solar installations. According to a piece in Greenbuildingelements.com, the solar installation costs in the state decreased $8.77 per watt in 2007 to 5.98 per watt at present. In other words, a 3kW installation would cost as low as $17,940 compared to $26,310 in 2007.

In a major milestone, California solar power generation reached a new all-time high output of 2,071 megawatts at 12:59 p.m. Friday, June 7. The peak demand for electricity on Friday was about 36,000 megawatts and solar power supplied more than five percent of demand for electricity, according to Cal ISO officials.

According to a July 2012 California Solar Initiative report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission, two thirds of home solar installations are now occurring in low and median income neighborhoods.

Further a study published by Crossborder Energy shows solar customers with net metering will deliver a financial benefit of more than $92 million annually to all California ratepayers, not just those with solar.

picture source: greensolarworld.co.

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