On track to hit a million solar roofs

Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in a whole year. By capturing just a tiny fraction of this energy, we can decrease our dependence on fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, leading to cleaner air, reduced global warming pollution, and thousands of new jobs.

That’s why Environment California created the Million Solar Roofs campaign in 2006. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of supporters who donated, made phone calls, signed petitions, and came out to events, we passed landmark legislation to support California’s growing solar industry. Our goal? Reach a million solar roofs statewide by the year 2020.

Today, California is on pace to hit the Million Solar Roofs target ahead of schedule, and our state is unquestionably the nation’s solar leader. The price of solar has dropped more than 45% since the program began in 2006, and California’s solar industry now employs more than 43,000 people.

But the battle isn’t over

Powerful utility companies are threatened by the idea of homeowners and small businesses generating their own energy. The utilities are joining hands with the fossil fuel industry and opposing us every step of the way. Environment California has fought hard in Sacramento to protect the laws that have enabled the solar industry’s stratospheric growth. For instance, we’re working to defend net metering, which allows homeowners and small businesses to receive credit on their electricity bills for energy that they produce on-site.

We’re also going on the offensive, working to build support for a bold vision of California’s solar future. Gov. Jerry Brown recently made a public call for California to install 12 gigawatts of local clean energy by 2020. That’s significant: 12 GW is the equivalent of 12 nuclear power plants. By rallying around the governor’s vision, we can reach our goal of a million solar roofs— and blow past it—by the end of this decade. Join our campaign by endorsing Gov. Brown’s clean energy vision today.

Finally, Environment California is highlighting local leaders all over the state who are moving the ball forward on solar power. Lancaster and Sebastopol have passed groundbreaking mandates requiring all new buildings to be constructed with solar panels. Richmond leaders dramatically cut prices on permits for residential solar installations. We are shining a spotlight on these visionary solar leaders and encouraging other city governments to follow in their footsteps.

By continuing to expand California’s reliance on solar power, we can transform our economy, generate jobs, protect our health, and preserve our environment for generations to come.

Clean energy updates

News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

As California Pursues Climate Solutions, Power Plants Are Nation’s Biggest Polluters

Redlands, CA – On the heels of the third largest forest fire in California history, a new report from Environment California Research & Policy Center sheds light on the largest contributors to carbon pollution: power plants. Scientists predict that devastating fires like the Yosemite Rim Fire will become more frequent as global warming produces even hotter and drier summers. 

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California is a leader on solar power, Environment California says

California is among a dozen states that have excelled through political will and public policy at producing solar power and should be examples for others on how to shift to renewable energy, according to a report released Tuesday by the group Environment California.

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Study: State government support leads to more solar installations

A study released today “Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America’s Top 12 Solar States” by the Environment California Research & Policy Center finds the states with government policies and government programs supporting solar tend to have far more solar installed than other states.

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California Ranks Among Top Six Solar States

The report from Environment California shows solar capacity in the state grew by 35-percent in 2012. It now has almost 3,000 megawatts. That’s enough to power an estimated 600-thousand homes. Michelle Kinman with Environment California says it’s not the availability of sunlight that puts states in the lead, but similar public policies that support solar energy.

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Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Lighting the Way

America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. These 12 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”

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