California Leads Nation in Solar Energy

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It’s no surprise to learn that sunny California produces more solar energy than any other U.S. state. The actual gap between California, and the other top solar energy producers in the nation, on the other hand, is surprising. According to the NY Times Blog:

  1. California: 47 percent with 971 megawatts
  2. New Jersey: 14 percent with 293 MW
  3. Colorado: 5 percent with 108 MW
  4. Arizona: 5 percent with 101 MW
  5. Nevada: 5 percent with 97 MW
  6. Florida: 4 percent with 73 MW
  7. New York: 3 percent with 54 MW
  8. Pennsylvania: 3 percent with 54 MW
  9. New Mexico: 2 percent with 45 MW
  10. North Carolina: 2 percent with 42 MW

This list is misleading because it doesn’t break down per capita energy usage, and it doesn’t take into account other forms of renewable energy, like wind power. A per capita breakdown would be more helpful. After all, a state like California would logically require more energy than one like Wyoming.

California is one of the biggest energy users in the United States, so using clean, renewable energy is a necessity. Despite being the most populous state in the nation, and the eighth-largest economy in the world, the state still uses less energy per capita than anywhere else in the nation. California also has aggressive renewable energy goals and strict mandates.

According to this Washington Post article:

While the average American burns 12,000 kilowatt-hours a year of electricity, the average Californian burns less than 7,000 — and that’s counting renewable energy sources.

That’s a significant difference!

I think it’s interesting to read that Texas isn’t in the top 10—which is something I’d like to see. Texas is the second-largest state in the country and the largest consumer of energy in the nation. While it does produce a significant amount of wind energy, there is also great potential for solar.

How did your state do?


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