The US Government has just published year-end electricity data for all states. There is loads of great material in there for data nerds - but particularly interesting is information for California. It is the leading state in use of solar power and, specifically, ended the year with an impressive 8.8 percent of total electricity generation from solar (PV and thermal).

 

Source: US Energy Information Administration - Electric Power Monthly (Feb 2016 - FY 2015)

 

Actually the leading region in the US was Washington DC which saw 27.4 percent of its electricity generation coming from solar PV. However there is so little power generation capacity in DC that it was not included. And DC is anyway a federal district and not a state. 

The numbers are particularly impressive when one considers that California is the most populous state in the US - with 39 million people - and, if it was a country, it would have the World's seventh largest economy.

 
 

 
 

Also shown is how that solar power is being generated. The EIA breaks solar into three parts:
utility PV: solar PV generated by entities whose main business is the sale of electrical energy to the public.
utility thermal: solar thermal uses solar energy to heat a fluid the energy of which is then transferred to water in order to produce steam which drives a generator.
distributed PV: solar PV generated by entities whose main business is other than the sale of electricity (i.e. houses and commercial businesses). 

It is noteworthy that fully 34.3% of all US solar power is from distributed solar PV. This amount is growing and it speaks volumes about the public's attachment to solar power: it is something that almost anyone can put on their roof.

 

Source: US Energy Information Administration - Electric Power Monthly (Feb 2016 - FY 2015)

Change is happening!