According to new information from Clean Tech Media, the state of California has added more solar power in 2013 than in the previous 30 years combined. California has spent the last few years as the most solar powered state in the entire country. In the last year alone California has doubled their rooftop solar installations, adding 1,000 megawatts (MW), bringing the total up to 2,000 MW. The California Solar Energy Industry noted that it took the state over three decades to install those first 1,000 MW.
"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," wrote Bernadette Del Chiaro of the California Solar Energy Industry.
Bloomberg News reports that the state of California is not only in its solar power surge. According to their report, over 200,000 homes and commercial spaces across the United States have added solar panels within just the last two years – which is equivalent to 3 gigawatts of power. This amount of energy is enough to replace four or five regularly sized coal plants. Experts and activists are happy with the country's increased reliance on greener energy.
But this massive uptick in solar power has been met with pushback in several states. There is an ongoing controversy surrounding the process of net metering, or people who have solar panels installed paying significantly less in their utility bills each month. Conservative members of state legislatures are trying to counteract this practice, but this is a battle that will be publicly fought over the course of 2014.