The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a quarterly staff progress report on the California Solar Initiative, showing that in 2008, Californians installed twice as many megawatts of solar power than the year before, and that demand for new solar projects continues to hit record levels.
According to the CPUC's January Staff Progress Report on the California Solar Initiative, homeowners, businesses and local governments in California's Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) territories installed 158 MW of distributed solar photovoltaics in 2008, doubling the 78 MW installed in IOU territories in 2007. California now boasts a cumulative total of 441 MW of distributed solar PV systems – the highest level of solar installations in the country.
In addition, the California Solar Initiative has spurred more than $5 billion worth of private investment in solar projects by California consumers. On average, for every $1 in incentive committed by the California Solar Initiative, an additional $6 in private funds is invested in solar technology in California, CPUC says. To date, the California Solar Initiative has paid or reserved nearly $775 million in incentives for total estimated project costs totaling more than $5 billion.
Based on the large number of new applications to the program received in the fourth quarter, the rate of installations for solar projects in California is expected to remain strong in 2009. The CPUC reports that in the fourth quarter, the California Solar Initiative broke previous records for most applications in a single quarter and most applications received in a single month.
The Staff Progress Report on the California Solar Initiative is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Solar/.
SOURCE: California Public Utilities Commission