California Loses The Solar Crown: Who's America's New Energy Star?

Benzinga ·  May 25 02:02

California is the largest U.S. state by population and was once the largest solar energy producer in the U.S. In a large shake-up, Texas has surpassed California as the largest domestic solar energy producer.

The Data: An article from the Financial Times outlined how Texas, which has its own energy grid, has become a "model" for green energy adoption.

Texas' solar grid has grown exponentially in the past five years. In 2019, Texas had just over 2 gigawatts of solar plants compared to California's 13. In 2024, Texas has 23.6 gigawatts to California's 21.2. FT acquired the data from Grid Status.

According to data from the think tank Ember, Texas generated more power from solar than coal for the first time in March.

Why it Matters: Texas has consistently voted for Republican state legislative majorities, who themselves have been historically unlikely to support green energy. The fact that Texas surpassed Democratic stronghold California could indicate that solar energy adoption has become less politicized.

The state has also seen an increase in solar manufacturing. Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ:ENPH) manufactures solar inverters in Arlington while Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ) manufactures panels in Mesquite. Several other manufacturers have announced plans to produce parts in Texas.

The state attracted attention as a newfound leader in green energy when Elon Musk moved Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) headquarters from California to Austin. Musk reportedly wants the roof of his Texas Gigafactory to be covered in solar panels.

For investors interested in the solar energy sector, here are three ETFs to consider:

  1. Invesco Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN): Specializes in solar energy stocks
  2. iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NASDAQ:ICLN): Covers a diverse range of clean energy sources, including solar
  3. First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (NASDAQ:QCLN): Includes a mix of renewable energy companies, with substantial investments in solar energy

Also Read: Solar Is Leaving Wind In The Dust As World Renewable Energy Hits New High

Image generated using artificial intelligence via Midjourney.

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