Green Innovation

Region Still Number One in Residential Solar Power

New policies and innovations are driving a shift from the use of carbon-based energy sources to alternative sources, clean technology, and increased energy efficiency. This indicator uses the Green Innovation Index to measure San Bernardino County’s progress in achieving sustainable economic growth. The Green Innovation Index provides statewide rankings of 26 metro areas on several measures of green innovation: installed solar capacity, clean vehicle rebates, and electricity consumption per capita.1

New policies and innovations are driving a shift from the use of carbon-based energy sources to alternative sources, clean technology, and increased energy efficiency.

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

Compared to 26 metro areas in California, Riverside-San Bernardino holds its position as a top region for solar power:

  • In 2018, Riverside-San Bernardino ranked first out of 26 California metro areas for the most kilowatts of installed residential solar power.
  • Riverside-San Bernardino was also a statewide leader in commercial and industrial solar power installations, ranking 2nd on both categories.
  • Riverside-San Bernardino held its position as 5th out of 26 in the number of clean vehicle rebates issued in 2018.
  • In terms of the lowest residential electricity consumption per capita, Riverside-San Bernardino ranked 18 out of 26 metros in 2017, which is an improvement over the prior year (20th), but a drop since 2015 when the region ranked 14th.
  • The region is 7th in the state for the lowest non-residential electricity consumption in 2017- a slight improvement from 8th the previous year.

Big Solar in the San Bernardino County Desert

In February 2019, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors took action to restrict new “utility-oriented” solar development in certain rural communities. Utility-oriented solar is defined as a project in which more than 50% of the energy produced would be used outside the local area and sent to the energy grid. The board’s action seeks to steer large-scale projects away from rural communities and direct the development of new projects to less populated or already disturbed areas. Community-oriented installations, such as roof top panels, are still allowed in all parts of the county

Source: San Bernardino County, County Administrative Office; Emerson, Sandra. “It’s lights out on big solar in San Bernardino County desert.” The Sun. February 28, 2019. Accessed September 13, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sbsun.com/2019/02/28/san-bernardino-county-board-to-prohibit-renewable-energy-development-in-key-desert-areas/

Selected Green Innovation Metrics Ranking Among 26 California Metro Areas

Selected Metro Areas, 2017 or 2018
Riverside-San BernardinoLos Angeles-Orange CountySan Diego
Most Solar Installations: Residential131
Most Solar Installations: Commercial241
Most Solar Installations: Industrial21113
Most Clean Vehicle Rebates514
Lowest Electricity Consumption per Capita: Non-Residential7145
Lowest Electricity Consumption per Capita: Residential1835

Note: Solar installation and clean vehicle rebate data are from 2018. Electricity consumption data are from 2017.

Source: Next10, California Green Innovation Index, 2019

Best Rank 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-16 | 17-21 | 22-26 Worst Rank

1For additional green metrics, visit www.next10.org.