California is taking the lead in reducing carbon emissions with one of the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy programs. By 2020, California intends to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources. If there was any doubt about its progress, the state recently set a record for winter solar power generation, almost reaching the previous record set  this summer of just over 1 gigawatt of solar energy.

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On Dec. 19, California power companies reported a peak solar power generation of just under 1 gigawatt of power from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm.  The previous record was set at just over 1 gigwatt of power in August of this year. What makes this figure exceptional is not that it is so close to meeting the previous record, but that the peak of solar output was nearly reached during the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky.

The previous record was set during the long days of summer, but the fact that the record was almost reached during the time when sunlight is the weakest and only available for a short time shows just how far California’s renewable energy program has come. When other renewable energy sources like hydropower and wind are factored in, it has been a very good year for California’s green energy portfolio, and the outlook is even rosier.

via Clean Technica

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