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

Assembly Appropriations Passes Bill to Speed Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Every Community

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Appropriations Committee weighed in with support for the Charge Ahead California Initiative (SB 1275 - De León) on Thursday, bringing the state one step closer to adopting a goal of putting one million electric vehicles on California roads in ten years, and reinforcing provisions that guarantee that low- and middle-income Californians are full participants in the Golden State’s clean vehicle future. 

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Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Lighting the Way

The Top 10 states with the most solar electricity installed per capita account for only 26 percent of the U.S. population but 87 percent of the nation’s total installed solar electricity capacity. These 10 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and North Carolina – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

New Report Finds California Solar Installations Nearly Doubled in 2013

Today, Environment California Research & Policy Center released a new report:  Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013, ranking California 1st in the nation for installed solar capacity and 4th for installed solar capacity per capita (up from 6th place in 2012). The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy to help capture the virtually unlimited and pollution-free energy from the sun.

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Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Driving Cleaner

America’s dependence on gasoline as a transportation fuel worsens global warming and threatens public health. Increasing the use of electric vehicles – especially those powered by clean, renewable sources of electricity – can protect the climate and help America get off oil.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

New Report: Electric Vehicles Are Putting the Brakes on Pollution

Today, Environment California Research & Policy Center was joined at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland by Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb, doctors, environmental justice advocates and transportation experts to release a new report “Driving Cleaner: More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution.”

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