16 Jul 2009:
Home Solar Arrays
Expand Rapidly in California
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.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.