When it comes to solar power, many believe that distributed generation installations (that is, solar electricity generated right at the source that will use it) makes more sense and is more efficient than utility scale solar power. In sunny Los Angeles, a new study confirms that rooftop solar panels could power 100% of Los Angeles.
The study was released by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)’s Luskin Center for Innovation. Its major conclusions show that residential solar panels could completely offset the need for grid-based electricity, particularly during hot days when energy demands are high.
Considering ample roof space on L.A. homes, rooftop solar panels could generate 19,000 megawatts (MW) of energy. That is more than enough to run A/C, refrigerators, televisions and much more! On an average day, the City uses about 5,500 megawatts of power. When the mercury rises, energy needs do too. Hot days increase power consumption by about 1/3, up to 6,177 MW throughout the city.
With rooftop solar panels potentially powering 100% of the city of Los Angeles, hope rises that it will be able to meet its ambitious goal of weaning itself off of fossil fuel sources by 2020. Experts believe that such a plan is far more eco-friendly than utility scale solar power plants in the Mojave Desert.