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

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California has 1 in 4 U.S. solar energy jobs, study says

"This report shows that the solar industry is not only creating green jobs across California but that the industry is forecast to continue growing at a much faster pace than the overall U.S. economy," said Michelle Kinman, a clean energy advocate for Environment California. "California industry and policymakers have a tremendous opportunity to build on this solid foundation and make solar a centerpiece of the state's energy policy."

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Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

The Way Forward on Global Warming, Vol. 1

By adopting a suite of clean energy policies at the local, state and federal levels, the United States could curb emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use by as much as 20 percent by 2020 and 34 percent by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels).

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Sunny Los Angeles Lags on Solar Energy, Says UCLA/USC Report

Statewide, one gigawatt of rooftop power has been installed, the Environment California Research & Policy Center announced last week on the progress of a state's 2006 Million Solar Roofs Initiative. The law mandates 3 gigawatts of rooftop solar statewide by 2016. LADWP's contribution - 280 megawatts - was only 8% realized by July of this year.

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Headline

Increasingly Sunny Days for California Solar Power

California has passed a milestone in increasing its use of green energy. We've installed 1 gigawatt of solar-generating power, enough to run a city roughly the size of San Francisco. We're on pace to generate 3 gigawatts by 2016.

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Headline

Electricity from Rooftop Solar Hits Milestone in California

Electricity generation by rooftop solar installations in California has surpassed the one-gigawatt mark, according to an analysis of a state incentives program.

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