California’s solar PV (yellow) and Concentrated Solar Power (brown) plants are meeting an increasing share of daytime electricity demand.
California’s utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants generated 938 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity during April 2014, while its concentrating solar power (CSP) plants produced another 88.0 GWh, according to an analysis by renewable energy consultant Bernard Chabot.
This allowed utility-scale PV to meet 5.3% of demand, and CSP another 0.5% of demand. As was also the case in March 2014, the output of the state’s CSP plants was higher on a daily basis and more consistent than in previous months.
The data used for this analysis do not include the state’s 2.2 GW of behind-the-meter residential and commercial PV systems, which would put PV numbers even higher.
Even without counting residential PV California is meeting roughly the same portion of electricity demand with PV as Germany and Spain are, and if it were counted as a nation it would be second only to Italy.
Solar meets a rising share of demand
California’s share of demand met with solar is also rising considerably month-to-month, which is due to both seasonal output variation and new plants coming online. Utility-scale PV and CSP met only 2.9% of demand in January 2014, but this increased to 3.7% in February and 5.1% in March.
When wind, geothermal, hydro and biomass are included, renewable sources met 25% of electricity demand during April 2014.
Bernard Chabot’s full analysis can be downloaded here.