File it under “Ya think???”
A post at Freakonomics by Steve Sexton concludes that California’s solar power subsidies may not be making the best use of the technology. Sexton points out, for example, the 1,923 residential rooftop systems installed in cloudy San Francisco rather than sunnier California locations:
If San Francisco’s residential solar panels were relocated to Apple Valley, they would produce another 2.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year—enough to power 320 average California homes.
Similarly, we could consider state policies that made New Jersey one of the fastest growing markets for solar power panels. Installing solar panels in New Jersey instead of the sunnier desert southwest is like throwing away about 30 percent of the power production potential of the equipment.