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

The Solution is in the Sky!

Over 300 children from the Betty Plasencia Elementary School in Echo Park assembled at City Hall this morning to rally in support of a solar-powered future for Los Angeles. Carrying signs reading “I Heart Solar Power” and “Go Solar L.A.,” and singing songs such as “Here Comes the Sun and Solar Power to the People,” the children conveyed a vision of their hometown being powered by clean energy.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Elected Officials, Businesses and Environmental Groups Launch Unprecedented Solar Campaign for L.A.

Gathered on the top floor of City Hall, with a vast expanse of Los Angeles rooflines in plain view, a broad coalition of elected officials, leading businesses, public health professionals, environmental groups and veterans rallied behind an unparalleled goal to make Los Angeles the nation’s solar power leader. The group is calling on Los Angeles to meet 20 percent of its energy needs with rooftop solar power by 2020 and gathered today, in part, to release a new Environment California Research & Policy Center report, Solar in the Southland, detailing the environmental and economic benefits of rooftop solar for Los Angeles.

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With Help From Nature, a Town Aims to Be a Solar Capital

 “Lancaster is breaking new ground,” said Michelle Kinman, a clean energy advocate at Environment California, a research and lobbying group. Ms. Kinman, who tracks the growth of solar energy in the state, calculates that the city tripled the number of residential installations in the past 18 months.

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Lancaster's Solar Leadership

The city of Lancaster, in the Antelope Valley, basks in sun for a good portion of the year. Now it's become the first city in the nation to mandate that homeowners take advantage of all that sun with solar roofing. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with the city's mayor tonight and asks how he's planning to make it affordable for residents. Environment California Research & Policy Center's clean energy advocate Michelle Kinman also provides commentary and makes the case for the next mayor of Los Angeles to make solar power a top priority.

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California Facing Rolling Blackouts Because of Green Energy?

The Fox Business program "Money with Melissa Francis" claims that California is facing an electricity crisis due to the state’s alleged overreliance on renewable energy. Environment California Research & Policy Center's clean energy advocate Michelle Kinman argued on air that California’s diverse mixture of renewable energy is in fact making our electricity grid more reliable and that the only question now is how to ramp up the state’s renewable energy fast enough to replace the state’s fleet of old, dirty fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

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