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

Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Star Power

California should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 30 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. Achieving that goal would result in a cleaner environment, less dependence on fossil fuels, and a stronger economy.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

New Report: 30% Solar in Reach for California

Solar power in California has grown 72 percent per year from 2010 to 2013. Even if this pace slowed to 16 percent, solar could still generate 30 percent of California’s electricity in less than two decades— a goal once thought improbable by many.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

New Report: Wind Energy, Tax Credits Needed to Combat Global Warming

The report finds that if the nation were to set a course for obtaining 30 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2030, America could avert nearly 712 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2025 and 1 billion metric tons per year by 2030. Reducing pollution by this amount would achieve the entire target of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, and then some.

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Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

More Wind, Less Warming

American wind power already produced enough energy in 2013 to power 15 million homes. Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

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News Release | Environment California

California Urges Action on Climate

California, along with 13 other states, praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a proposed rule to clean up global warming pollution from power plants. Power plants are the largest source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming, accounting for about 40 percent of total emissions.

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