More than any other city in the country, Los Angeles could benefit from a robust market for rooftop solar power on homes, office buildings, schools, warehouses, parking lots, and more. Solar power can benefit our environment, our health and our economy—providing cleaner air, reducing global warming, conserving water and creating jobs. To capture these benefits, Los Angeles’s leaders should adopt a visionary goal of installing 1,200 megawatts of local solar power generation capacity by 2020.
Environment California Research & Policy Center prepared this series of factsheets to provide information about local energy technologies that are well-suited to help California reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and achieve a clean energy future.
All across California, businesses, farms, government agencies, schools and nonprofits are demonstrating that action to reduce heat-trapping emissions can improve competitiveness and strengthen the bottom line. Energy efficiency measures and clean energy projects reduce waste, cut energy costs, limit exposure to fossil fuel price spikes, and attract environmentally aware customers.
Solar energy makes sense for California’s schools. This first-of-its-kind report presents case studies from 18 California school districts that have installed solar energy projects at nearly 200 schools combined, illustrating the environmental, economic and educational benefits of going solar in our schools.
California’s solar market is thriving. Ten years ago, solar panels atop roofs were a rarity. Today, solar is taking hold in cities across the state, from coastal metropolises to agricultural and industrial hubs in the Central Valley. In the past two years alone, the solar industry has installed more than 5,000 kilowatts of solar power in each of 10 different California cities.
California’s pioneering Million Solar Roofs Initiative is on pace to meet its goal of installing 3,000 megawatts of solar capacity by 2016, while also helping to reduce the cost of solar energy, creating thousands of green jobs throughout the state, and reducing air pollution.
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).
Over 40 percent of our energy – and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world – goes toward powering America’s buildings, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Today’s high-efficiency homes and buildings prove that we have the technology and skills to drastically improve the efficiency of our buildings while simultaneously improving their comfort and affordability. If we apply those lessons to all buildings, we can reduce overall building energy consumption 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050.
The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, passed by the House this June and currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate, maps out a new energy future for the nation. Passing the ACES Act – even with the compromises made to secure passage in the House – would be a significant step toward a clean energy future for the United States and would represent a ground-breaking political achievement.