San Diego has more solar panels than most major cities, ranking 2nd among major U.S. cities two years in a row, according to a new report by Environment California Research & Policy Center. The solar stature of the city was owed largely to the clear solar commitment of the city’s leaders as well as streamlined and predictable permitting fees, said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Councilmember Todd Gloria and advocates who gathered at an affordable housing complex in Council District 3 that is powered by solar energy.
“California cities are some of the country’s most valuable players when it comes to solar power,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “As California leaders—Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins—aim to have 50% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, our cities are leading the way.”
Solar power in California has grown 72 percent per year from 2010 to 2013. Even if this pace slowed to 16 percent, solar could still generate 30 percent of California’s electricity in less than two decades— a goal once thought improbable by many.
The report finds that if the nation were to set a course for obtaining 30 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2030, America could avert nearly 712 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2025 and 1 billion metric tons per year by 2030. Reducing pollution by this amount would achieve the entire target of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, and then some.
California, along with 13 other states, praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a proposed rule to clean up global warming pollution from power plants. Power plants are the largest source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming, accounting for about 40 percent of total emissions.