When it comes to solar installations, Los Angeles leads the pack. The city now has the most solar installations in the United States, according to a new report from the Environment California Research & Policy Center.
The Environment California report stated that 132 megawatts of solar power had been installed in the city by the end of 2013. That not only puts Los Angeles at the top of the nation in terms of solar installation, but it's about one-third more than the no. 2 city, San Diego (which previously held the top spot). In addition to Los Angeles and San Diego, three other California cities made the top 20: San Jose (no. 4), San Francisco (no. 9), and Sacramento (no. 12). The report also found that installed U.S. solar photovoltaic capacity is about 200 times more than what it was in 2002.
The report is another feather in the cap for Los Angeles when it comes to solar. The city's groundbreaking Feed-in Tariff program-in which participants with rooftop solar systems can sell power to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power-has been deemed a success and ready for expansion, according to a recent analysis. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who ran on a solar-friendly platform, introduced his Sunny Skies initiative during his State of the City address in April. The program would allow residential customers to get permits for solar installations online to help streamline the process and make it easier for customers to go solar. Garcetti said the city will get one-third of its power needs from renewable resources by the year 2020.
"L.A. is proving that by setting-and achieving-ambitious goals, the city can take critical steps towards a clean energy future," said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate at Environment California, in a statement. "Even so, Los Angeles has barely scratched the surface of its potential to capture this pollution-free energy source. By committing to bold goals and expanding on the smart policies we've adopted, we can take solar to the next level and ensure that Los Angeles remains a leader on the national and international stages."