A Million Solar Roofs
Too much of California’s energy still comes from dirty sources that harm our environment. By tapping the power of the sun, we can repower our lives with clean energy that doesn’t pollute and never runs out.
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.
Help California get to a million solar roofs — and more.
Check out our campaign to make Los Angeles a world-class solar city:
- California’s solar industry celebrated a major milestone in November 2011 — the installation of more than 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar photovoltaic capacity in total.
- Since the Million Solar Roofs initiative began, the total installed cost of residential solar power systems in California has fallen 25%, and the cost of commercial-scale systems has fallen more than 40%. If progress continues at the same rate, residential solar energy should reach break-even costs statewide in the next five years, even without upfront rebates.
- So far, over 100 elected officials across the state have officially endorsed Gov. Brown’s pioneering vision to build 12 gigawatts of local clean energy — enough energy to cover a million solar roofs and then some — by 2020.
- From 2011 to 2012, jobs in the U.S. solar sector grew nearly 6 times faster than the rest of the economy, with one-fourth of solar jobs here in California.