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

California Clean Energy Funding Approved for 2012

San Francisco, CA – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decided yesterday to extend funding to critical energy efficiency, renewable energy, and research & development programs through 2012. This decision follows Governor Brown’s request in September that the CPUC determine a means of financing the programs funded to date under the Public Goods Charge – one of the country’s largest and most successful clean energy initiatives, which the California legislature failed to renew beyond 2011. 

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Broad Coalition Calls on Gov. Brown to Preserve and Expand Net Metering

A broad coalition of local leaders, clean energy businesses, green jobs advocates, consumer and environmental organizations, wrote to Governor Brown to express strong support for the preservation of California’s current net metering program and to ask for his help in lifting the cap on net metering to ensure that this policy continues to play a leading role in achieving the Governor's goal of building 12 GW of localized renewable energy by 2020.

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News Release | Environment California

Broad coalition calls on Gov. Brown to preserve and expand net metering

December 12, 2011

The Honorable Governor Jerry Brown
California State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Keep California’s Bright Spot Shining: Preserve and Expand California’s Net Metering Program

Dear Governor Brown:

As a broad coalition of local leaders, clean energy businesses, green jobs advocates, consumer and environmental organizations, we are writing to express our strong support for the preservation of California’s current net metering program and to ask for your help in lifting the cap on net metering to ensure that this policy continues to play a leading role in achieving your goal of building 12 GW of localized renewable energy by 2020.  

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Headline

Buffett investment in California solar farm could boost industry

The value of the nation's solar industry has grown 67%, to $6 billion, since 2009, making it the fastest growing segment of the nation's renewable energy offerings, said Michelle Kinman, a clean energy advocate for the group Environment California. The solar industry also is producing jobs at a fast rate during a time of distressingly high unemployment in America, she said.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Clean Car Standards Would Save California Drivers $34 million on Thanksgiving Travel

As Californians prepare for one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, a new Environment California report finds that more fuel efficient cars would save Californians roughly $34 million at the gas pump this Thanksgiving alone while also making significant cuts in oil use. The report was released just days after state and federal regulators announced new clean car regulations for the coming decade. 

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