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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

Million Solar Roofs for California

Million Solar Roofs for California gives a boost to clean power added to the electric grid, adds solar panels to more homes, and takes a good look at insallation practices.

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The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alan Kay, inventor (1940- )

PV Roofing for Renewable Solar Energy

Most electricity is not a clean technology, even though we hear about electric cars, electric heat, and other electric alternatives. It's improving, but California still gets most of its electric energy from polluting sources.

Solar energy is some of the cleanest energy we have technology ready to deploy. There have been some barriers to producing all the solar energy possible and some of those barriers have now been raised to engage additional solar energy capacity.

SB 1 Solar Roofs Incentives Take Affect January 1, 2007.

SB 1 complements the California Solar Initiative established by the Public Utilities Commission in January and puts California on track toward building a million solar roofs in the next ten years. The main components of the bill include:

  • Increasing the cap on net metering—a program that allows solar customers to get a credit on their electric bill for excess power generated by their solar system. SB 1 increases the cap from 0.5% of a utility’s total load to 2.5% enabling approximately 500,000 new solar system owners into the net metering program.

    Solar Panel Mandates for New Homebuyers

  • Mandating that solar panels become a standard option for all new homebuyers, enabling new home buyers to choose to add solar panels to their new home while it is being constructed. The bill also directs the California Energy Commission to determine if and when solar power should be mandated on new construction as a standard, non-optional feature.

    Utility Solar Rebate Programs

  • Requiring that the state’s municipal utilities create their own solar rebate program, totaling $800 million in rebate funds to drive municipal utility ratepayers toward solar power.

    Licensing for Solar Installers to Grow Green Jobs

  • Directing the California State Licensing Board to review current licensing requirements for solar installers and determine whether or not they are adequately trained to install the million solar roofs expected to be built as a result of this program.

Conservation of Energy is Still Highly Efficient, With High ROI

When opportunity and technology coincide, significant progress can be made. The flip side of this new capacity, however, still exists. Consumers still can make a significant difference in our polluted air situation by using less energy. Use manual tools. Walk instead of drive. Turn off lights. Replace incandescent bulbs with low-energy bulbs. Plant trees and shrubs and vines for shade and cooling.

Conservation is a vital element of cleaning up our air.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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