5 California Cities Earn Berth in “Sweet Sixteen” for Solar Power

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Los Angeles, CA – Five California cities—Los Angeles, San Diego, San José, San Francisco and Sacramento—have  more solar panels than most major cities nationwide, according to a new report by Environment California Research & Policy Center. The solar stature of these cities is owed largely to the clear solar commitment of the city’s leaders as well as streamlined and predictable permitting fees

“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.”

Los Angeles (#1) and San Diego (#2) again topped the list for most solar power installations in the analysis, Shining Cities. San José rounds out the top tier, earning 5th place; San Francisco comes in at 11th place, followed by Sacramento in 14th place.

“Los Angeles is blessed with abundant sunshine and with the most solar power in the country we are proud to be putting it to good use,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We look forward to increasing that amount significantly in the coming years through the nation’s largest Feed in Tariff program and broadening adoption by residential customers, simultaneously creating green jobs and combating climate change.”

“San Diego is leading the way in solar energy and that’s going to help us meet many of our City’s environmental goals and put San Diegans back to work,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “Solar energy is a key element to the City’s proposed Climate Action Plan, which calls for 100 percent renewable energy use in the City by 2035.”

“San José is committed to receiving all of its electrical power from clean, renewable sources by 2022, and has been doing its part by investing in solar technology for City buildings,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We are delighted that our businesses and residents are joining us in that effort with private investments in solar technology, ensuring that San José remains a solar power leader for years to come.”

On a solar-per-person basis, California also scored well with San José and San Diego earning the #3 and #4 spots respectively.

Solar power is on the rise across the country, with another panel or project installed every three minutes last year. Plummeting costs, increasing public concern over global warming and energy independence, and technological innovation have all played a role in spurring the growth of the pollution-free energy source.

While solar power is growing in California and throughout the nation, utility companies are campaigning intensely to increase fees for rooftop solar, which they see as a direct threat to their business model.

“With prices going down and concern about global warming going up, solar power is growing rapidly in our state,” said Kinman. “We need California leaders to continue the policies that allow solar to shine.”

U.S. Cities by Cumulative Installed Solar PV Capacity, End of 2014