Just after yesterday’s post on photovoltaic (PV) installs in CA and NJ, I found a 43-page update from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in my inbox. The second paragraph of the executive summary tells the good news:
Despite the transition to a new program, demand is robust. In the first twelve months, demand for CPUC-administered California Solar Initiative incentives exceeds California’s total installed solar from the previous 26 years. Since 1981, California installed 198 megawatts (MW) of grid integrated solar statewide. From January 1 through December 31, 2007, the California Solar Initiative program has applications for 208.6 MW of new solar. Disregarding applications that have been withdrawn or rejected, the program has received 7,541 applications, worth $558 million in incentives. Residential applications dwarf all others (6,712 applications) and are 89% of the total applications, but only comprise 15% of the total MW in the active applications. The 829 non-residential applications from commercial, government, and non-profit applicants make up 11% of the total applications. The non-residential applications are 176.8 MW in active applications.
In 2006 the U.S. installed 108 MW of PV. If most of the 209 MW of applications reported above are built in 2008 (18 MW where already operating in 2007), we will see at least a doubling of U.S. PV.
The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is budgeted for $3.3 billion of incentives over 10 years for 3,000 MW. Incentives will decrease in ten steps over the 10 years so even if applications in the first year are $533 million, this does not indicate CSI will run out of funds. Non-residential applications appear to be ahead of goals, while residential is lagging somewhat.
Also, Cooler Planet has added more features to their interactive map, so you may want to check it out again.
– Earl K.