The state of California has been a leader in the solar power energy movement for quite some time. The state can be credited for having both leaders and innovations that help to propel the solar movement forward in an effort to help conserve energy and reduce reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. Following is some recent news in 2015 about solar power systems in California.
California Leads the Nation in Solar Power
One of the most exciting solar energy stories for California this year is that the state leads the nation in the usage of solar power. It will not be long before the state has 10 gigawatts of installed solar power. That is enough to power 2.5 million homes. Last year alone, the state added over 4.000 megawatts of solar power capacity, bringing the total to almost 10,000 megawatts. California takes its position as the leader in the solar energy area seriously. They lead by example, and hopefully other states will soon follow suit. One major factor that makes California the leader of the pack for solar energy usage is astute governing that has overseen the passage of bills that encourage and reward solar power usage by residents and businesses alike.
California Setting New Solar Records at Rapid Pace
The state of California has been busy lately. It produced a record amount of solar energy in June of 2015. However, it is likely that that record will be broken before too long by California. In fact, the state has set no fewer than 14 solar energy records that year, and that number is expected to keep going up. The summer months gave the area a significant amount of sunshine, as expected. The numbers that were already impressive in June were set to skyrocket by the end of August. There were times during the summer of 2015 that over half the state was being powered by renewable energy. The recent surge in the use of solar powered energy has been rapid and it is not expected to slow down any time soon. Plus, one amazing aspect of these records is that they do not take into account every instance of solar usage that takes place in the state. Thus, the numbers could potentially be even higher. Major contributors to the record-setting pace of increased use of solar energy include falling costs and a statewide mandate in renewable energy that requires major utilities to buy 33% of their retail electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
California Jumps Into The Future with SB 350
In early October 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 350. This piece of legislation commits the state to continue reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The main way to push this concept is through the use of renewable energy sources. These include solar energy; energy efficiency, and the electrification of transportation. The hope is that soon other states will follow suit. As more states come aboard, the entire country will be heading down a path toward a more sustainable future and less reliance on nonrenewable sources that are harmful to the environment.
California Finding New Ways to Extend Benefits of Solar to Lower-Income, Minority Communities
A new bill has been introduced to the Governor in hope of extending the benefits of solar energy to communities that otherwise do not have the opportunity to reap the benefits that can be gained by using this renewable energy source. Assembly Bill 693 aims to initiate a solar roof program that can accommodate multi-family dwellings. The program would be granted 100 million dollars a year for 10 years to install solar panels on at least 210,000 affordable housing units throughout the state. If the bill is approved, the recipients will save almost $40 million a year on electricity bills plus $19 million in solar tax credits and other benefits. This plan would be in addition to other programs that are already in place to assist other communities throughout the state that would otherwise have little to no access to the benefits of using solar energy power.
Teens Take to Learning Solar
Early one Saturday morning, instead of sleeping in, 12 teenagers from Tulare County High School installed photovoltaic systems on the home of a family residing in Porterville, California. The installation was spearheaded by the Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing program administrator, GRID Alternatives to kick off a new program called Solar Futures. The purpose of this program is to inspire today’s youth to become solar leaders by combining STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education with GRID Alternatives’ hands-on solar installation model. The program provides both classroom and hands-on education opportunities for students. Students are enjoying the program and the educational opportunities that come with it. It is a great way to expose high school students to the use of renewable energy sources while helping them build job skills for the future.
These stories are just a few instances that help the state be the leader in energy conservation and solar power energy usage. Be inspired to make a difference in energy conservation any way you can. For more information about the benefits of solar power in California, contact a local solar energy professional.
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