IHS expects that by the end of 2015, California will attain worldwide leadership in market share of annual power generation received from solar photovoltaics (PV). Solar power is expected to provide more than 10% of California’s annual power generation in 2015.
California’s renewable power policy is behind its ascent to the top of the global solar power penetration rankings. The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires 33% of 2020 retail electricity sales to come from renewable generators, has driven the rapid build-out of utility-scale solar. California’s cumulative utility-scale solar PV capacity is expected to be more than 6 GWAC by the end of 2015. California has also strongly supported distributed solar development with the $2 billion California Solar Initiative and retail rate net-energy-metering policy.
Ultimately, California, alongside the other global leaders in solar power penetration, will be a test bed for determining how to manage a power system with a high level of solar power penetration.