California’s goal to be one hundred percent reliant on clean energy resources by 2045 will in part be determined by California’s reliance on solar energy. As of 2020, 34.5% of the state’s energy came from solar and wind energy. While California is striving to rely more and more on renewable energies, simultaneously the state is experiencing increasingly devastating wildfire seasons. This study analyzes the effect of wildfire-produced particulate matter on solar energy production considering these issues. Results from fixed effects regression analysis show that increasing size and intensity of wildfires increase particulate matter in the air, which in turn decrease solar energy production. However, it is found that precipitation is a more influential predictor of solar energy production than is particulate matter.
Buttikofer, Abby (2023) "An Econometric Analysis of the Effect of Wildfire-Produced Particulate Matter on Solar Energy Production in California," Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 15, Issue 1. Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol15/iss1/2