Solar and wind are booming — just not in the California desert

The United States added more than 11 gigawatts of solar power last year, according to a report from the federal Energy Information Administration — meaning the country now has nearly 50 percent more solar power than it did a year earlier. The wind industry, meanwhile, just had its best first quarter since 2009, installing 908 turbines with more than 2 gigawatts of capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

But on public lands in the California desert — where open space is abundant, and the sun and wind are strong — new development has slowed.


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