Solar power in California – 2022 outlook

For a very long time California was synonym for a rapid solar energy development, not just in United States but for the rest of the world too. Have things started to change recently or is California still US solar power kingdom?

The most recent data suggests that solar power generates around 15% of energy in California, meaning it is still by far the most important renewable energy source in the state, followed by wind energy which contributes roughly to 7% of state’s energy supply.

California’s solar power plants are concentrated in the desert areas, or to be more precise in the Mojave area. In 2020, solar PV and solar thermal power plants produced 29,450 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy. Back in 2019, California achieved more than one million solar roofs, and everything looked rosy for the solar power industry in the state.

However, some argue that things could soon head in the wrong direction because California Public Utilities Commission looks ready to overhaul the state’s main solar incentive program, known as net metering, and if this proposal goes ahead it would make rooftop solar more expensive.

This proposal could be approved as soon as Jan. 27 and if it gets the nod it looks likely to hinder future thriving of solar power development in the state. There were already some protests in the state as hundreds of people took to the streets in Los Angeles and San Francisco to call on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to keep rooftop solar growing in the state.

There is very little sense in making solar energy more expensive in the state, especially given the current climate condition and the need for more renewable energy, not only in United States, but the world in general. More solar energy means less fossil fuel burning resulting in cleaner air and healthier communities.

All eyes will be set on Jan. 27 and if this proposal is adopted, changes would go into effect this spring, possibly creating huge damage to solar power development in California for 2022.