Axios San Diego

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It's Friday. Maybe the Padres win another series, the clouds stay away and we all have a legendary April weekend. Why not us?

  • Today's weather: Coast — Patchy fog, then mostly cloudy with highs in the mid-60s. Inland — Patchy fog this morning, then clearing with highs in the upper 60s.

Situational awareness: Former county supervisor Nathan Fletcher spent $323,000 in campaign contributions from an abandoned state Senate run for his legal defense against sexual assault charges, KPBS broke late Thursday.

Today's newsletter is 871 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: California's solar superpower

Data: Climate Central; Note: Includes both utility-scale and small-scale solar generation; Chart: Axios Visuals

California leads the country in a climate-related measure we can be proud of: solar power generation.

Why it matters: Solar and wind power — which produce a small-but-growing share of America's overall energy supply — provide a bigger share of energy in some states than others.

By the numbers: California generated 68,816 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from solar power in 2023, up 9% from 2022, per an analysis from the research nonprofit Climate Central.

  • That output has been soaring for a decade.
  • The state ranked eighth nationwide for wind power in 2023 at 14,897 GWh.
  • Wind-power generation has improved slightly but has been hovering around that number since 2014.

State of play: California policymakers have prioritized the transition to solar power and other clean, renewable energy to grow the state's production and storage capacity.

  • Since 2002, the state's renewable portfolios standard has set continuously escalating requirements for the amount of renewable energy in statewide retail electricity sales.
  • In 2018, legislators passed SB 100, which sets that standard to 100% clean electricity by 2045.
  • Meanwhile, legislators created community choice aggregation programs (CCAs), which buy power for residents and businesses in cities and compete with local utilities. They offer higher percentages of renewable energy at comparable or slightly lower rates.

Zoom in: San Diego Community Power (SDCP) launched in 2021 as an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Between the lines: The price of solar power has declined over the past decade, contributing to its growth.

  • Plus, California's geography and weather make it a prime candidate for solar energy production.

What we're watching: Solar energy will play an increasingly important role in helping the state achieve its clean electricity goal by 2045, California Energy Commission staff told Axios.

  • That will require the electrification of all homes, buildings and cars that run on fossil fuels today, and the construction of an additional 148,000 MW of clean-energy resources.

The big picture

2. San Diego Wave 🤝 local bars

A San Diego Wave FC watch party at Novo Brazil Brewpub Mission Valley. Photo: Luis Meza/Novo Brazil

Looking to catch a San Diego Wave FC game with other soccer fans? You've got options.

State of play: Fairplay in North Park, Pure Project Balboa Park in Bankers Hill and Novo Brazil are the team's official pub partners for the 2024 NWSL season.

  • Novo has four locations across Mission Valley, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, and a refreshing hard kombucha collab with the team.
  • The local bars are hosting watch parties and offering drink specials on game days.

The big picture: Professional women's soccer — and recent March Madness hype — has helped lead to unprecedented momentum around women's sports.

Fun fact: The Wave's new jerseys were just voted best in the league.

What's next: Pick a bar and watch the Wave vs. Racing Louisville at 4:30pm Saturday.

Share with a sports fan

3. The Lineup: Local news roundup

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Not yet a year old, San Diego's camping ban has pushed many homeless people people experiencing homelessness out of downtown and into safer sleeping sites, but others have taken shelter under overpasses, where the city can't enforce its law. The ban also hasn't led to many arrests or citations. (Calmatters)

🧬 San Diego gene-sequencing giant Illumina has hired two new executives as it continues to revamp its leadership team. (Union-Tribune)

🧑‍💻 The share of students attending virtual schools in San Diego has skyrocketed in recent years, but their performance is significantly worse than their counterparts in traditional schools. (Voice of San Diego)

4. Legit low-key kickbacks

Sting and Billy Joel are bringing their stadium tour to Petco Park. Photo: Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images

May gray and June gloom will be here soon, so get out now to see an up-and-coming jazz act, check out the new music club at a hotel gaining national acclaim or to enjoy one of these other fun events:

Friday

🎷 SkateJazz at Soda Bar

See SkateJazz spread across San Diego after breaking out at a weekly Barrio Logan jazz night.

⛸️ Disney on Ice: Mickey's Search Party

Would you believe me if I told you that Mickey's search brings him to lucrative Disney IP?

Saturday

🖼️ San Diego Made Spring Market

Find over 120 makers in downtown La Mesa Village with live music, food, drinks and kids activities.

🎤 Billy Joel and Sting at Petco Park

Splurge on secondhand tickets to this sold-out show because the going rate to get in really isn't so bad.

Sunday

🎉 Rolando Street Fair

Enjoy live music from some great local bands all day, with more than 100 vendors and a kids area.

🎺 Clifford Morin at Lou Lou's

Check out San Diego's newest jazz club, headlined by this Philadelphia-based saxophonist.

More events

5. Here in San Diego: Mission Trails hike

Penny likes the view at Kwaay Paay Peak in Mission Trails. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

🎉 Congrats to Vic V. for recognizing the view from Kwaay Paay Peak in Mission Trails.

The 2.4-mile out-and-back trail is steep, narrow and challenging, but it makes for a good Saturday morning workout.

  • It's dog friendly but can be strenuous for pups. Be on the lookout for rattlesnakes.

Fun fact: Originally known as "No Name Mountain," Kwaay Paay (the Kumeyaay word for "chief") earned its official name in 1994.

Our picks:

🪩 Andy is preparing for the Sphere.

🥳 Kate is hoping her brother is reading this birthday shoutout!

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.