Back in 2007, we posted our California Solar Heat Map article to help depict solar installations in California from 1999 to 2007. The map interactively showed how solar installations (total number of installs, total watts, average system size, and carbon emissions) changed over the course of those years. The original map was compiled using data available from the California Energy Commission.
Recently, we were interested in how solar installations have changed in California since 2008 and we came across the website Go Solar California Statistics which has much more comprehensive data for the years following 2007 than what the California Energy Commission provides. It was with this information that we decided to do a refresh on our heat map to see if there have been any major changes to solar in California since then.
Although the overall distribution of solar across California has largely remained the same since we first did the map, when looking closer there have been some significant changes in the solar layout in California since the end of 2007. The areas around San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Malibu have increased their number of solar installations faster than other areas of the state. Thanks to a number of larger solar power installations in the Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Maria areas the average watts per installation in those areas have increased significantly.
We were then further interested to see how the map of installations relates to the inquiries that SolarEnergy.net receives from the California area and it came to no surprise that the most popular regions for SolarEnergy.net inquiries directly correlates to the "hottest" areas of solar installations.
Play with the map and see which areas seemed to have benefited the most from harnessing the most renewable source of energy available to us, the sun!
If you'd like to embed this map into your own website, feel free to use the code below (in its unmodified state).* Data prior to 2008 was obtained from the California Energy Commission, data thereafter is from Go Solar California Statistics.