California Luvs Solar Power

Part of the 354 MW SEGS solar complex in northern San Bernardino County, California (Wikimedia Commons)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the eco-friendly Masdar City, in the Persian Gulf, which will run largely on solar power. When he wrote about the city, NYT columnist Andrew Revkin lamented that such a thing wasn't happening in the Southwestern U.S. But maybe California is headed that way.

In the last six years, the amount of photovoltaic-produced power used by Californians has grown by 17 times, according to the California Energy Commission. At the same time, the average photovoltaic system size has decreased, indicating more and more cases of residential (versus large commercial) use.

The clever folks at Cooler Planet found an interesting way to play with the data:

Rather than reading over data and spreadsheets, we 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.

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