2013 was a banner year for clean energy, and the U.S. solar industry was no exception. California, the nation’s solar standout, more than doubled its rooftop solar installations last year from 1,000 megawatts (MW) to 2,000 MW.
To put this number in perspective, writes Bernadette Del Chiaro of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, it took California more than 30 years to build the first 1,000 MW of rooftop solar.
“When utility-scale solar projects are added in, California’s total solar power picture well-exceeds 4,000 MW today—nearly twice as much installed capacity as exists at California’s last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon,” Del Chiaro said.
And California isn’t alone in its rooftop solar surge. “About 200,000 U.S. homes and businesses added rooftop solar in the past two years alone—about 3 gigawatts of power and enough to replace four or five conventionally-sized coal plants,” Bloomberg reported.