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California Leading Push For Renewable Power

This undated photo shows the Interstate 5 freeway.

Photo by Bill Morrow

Above: This undated photo shows the Interstate 5 freeway.

The use of renewable energy is surging in California. A new analysis shows there’s been a huge jump in the use of solar, wind and other renewable technologies in the last decade.

A new report from Environment California Research finds California ranks first in the nation for growth in solar energy production.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

Electricity generation from solar power is up more than 2,000%.

The state has the most electric cars on the road and the most battery charging stations.

RELATED: California Regulators Want Enforcement Tools To Help Control Air Pollution Near Ports

California also leads the nation in the growth of battery storage capacity since 2010.

“Policies like the million solar roofs program accelerated solar energy growth starting in the mid-2000s,” said Environment California’s Elizabeth Nickerson.

Renewable energy advocates say the jump in solar and battery storage is helping wean the state off fossil fuels.

“The public health consequences and the consequences on our pocketbooks of relying on dirty fossil fuels for energy have actually resulted in real problems,” said Emily Rusch, the director of the California Public Interest Research Group. “In air pollution, in global warming pollution, in increased frequency and intensity of wildfires that we’re seeing in California. We have not taken those costs, those external costs into account for far too long.”

The move toward renewable energy will have huge public health benefits for the state’s residents, according to Rasch.

Reported by Erik Anderson

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Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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