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Report: California Solar Capacity Grew 48% In 2013

Above: Workers install thin film solar panels onto the roof of a Walmart in Mountain View, California, Sept. 2, 2010.

A new report shows California is leading the nation among homes and businesses running on solar power.

Aired 8/7/14 on KPBS News.

A recent report shows the solar industry is growing rapidly in California. Last year, there were more than 140,000 solar jobs in the U.S., including 47,000 in California.

The report ranks California first in the nation in installed solar capacity, and fourth for installed solar capacity per capita. Last year, solar capacity in California grew 48 percent.

The report by Environment California Research & Policy Center, the research arm of an environmental advocacy organization, says reducing the cost of installation and solar equipment is important for homeowners. They found the cost of installation has continued to fall as the solar industry has grown. Between 2011 and 2013, costs of installed systems went down 60 percent.

Katrina Morton with the Center For Sustainable Energy says San Diego has also done a good job of installing solar.

"San Diego ranks in the top five cities in the state. I think this is because municipalities have taken the lead and installed solar on their city buildings," Morton said.

The report also found jobs in the solar industry are growing rapidly. Last year, there were more than 140,000 solar jobs in U.S., including 47,000 in California.

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