The number of California homes with solar panels has grown from 500 a decade ago to 50,000 today, helping California produce 500 megawatts of solar-powered electricity — equivalent to a major coal-fired power plant — during peak solar periods in early afternoon. The lobbying group Environment California reported that the state’s solar market has more than doubled in the past three years, making the state by far the largest solar power generator in the United States. New Jersey is second, with a peak production of 70 megawatts. Still, the expansion of solar power in California is far behind Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goal of a “million solar roofs,” and the number of home solar arrays remains small. The city with the most solar roofs, San Diego, only has 2,262 homes with solar photovoltaic panels. Environmental advocates say that a key to far more rapid expansion of solar power is a so-called feed-in tariff, which would allow homeowners who install extra solar capacity to sell electricity back to utilities at a favorable rate.
This piece originally appeared on e360 digest