Solar Energy In California – Renewable Energy State

By tradition, Japan and Germany have shown the way in promoting the use of solar energy for daily consumption by converting sunlight into electricity. Nevertheless, it appears that the state of California in the US is making rapid strides in the sustainable and renewable energy industry.

At this rate, in the foreseeable future it will take giant step forward in the generation of pollution-free and renewable solar energy. Here are the major reasons why California is poised to become the world leader in ‘clean energy technology’ and why this is possible.

California has an excellent background in supporting technological advances, as is evident in computer industry. As per the Climate Group, $523 million was invested in ‘clean tech industry’ in California in 2005. The clean tech industry is a combination of energy generation concepts, research and development and manufacture of equipment that generate pollution-free and renewable energy.

It envisages an investment of $167 billion in the industry all over the world by 2015. It also considers that around 20,000 to 83,000 jobs may be created in California in the clean tech industry.

At present, for the first quarter of 2007, the venture capital enterprises have funded the clean tech industry in California to the tune of $307 million. This is twice the amount invested in the whole of Europe for the same period. This inflow of funds has shown downward trend for two most significant reasons.

The first is that the state government has promoted the use of ‘cleaner energy’, particularly solar energy through state laws and financial assistance. Around $3 billion is being earmarked for investment in a 10 year plan that expects to see solar panels on every roof -top throughout California. The state Government anticipates that 20% of the energy generated through renewable sources, especially solar energy will be utilized in homes.

Legislation is on the anvil that will focus on supporting those business enterprises that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation proposed will also include a clause for rewarding companies that can be more Eco-friendly in future as well.

The second aspect for supporting pioneering efforts in the area of cleaner energy resources is the novel nature of business traditions in California. Lots of companies and their products are developed on the strength of finance provided by venture capital institutions. Liberal investors are prepared to put their stakes on a specific concept or product.

While some may not yield any positive results, others will be successful. This has been established in the computer industry which draws people who have flair for innovations and encourage speedy development of products. This is specially the case in the solar energy industry where solar cells and panels continue to be developed making use of new materials.

One of the bottle necks in the solar industry was that earlier silicon was used to produce solar panels. This was very costly and also involved considerable time to develop as silicon stocks had exhausted. The new panels designed are much easier to install on the usual places, such as roof top.

Research efforts are under way to enhance the working efficiency of solar cells and panel. Clean tech industries and especially, solar power are fully geared to become a growth industry in California. This is not because of any locational advantages of the state but due to the determination of the industry and the government to ensure that the sound solar technology is very useful in day to day life.