California’s clean energy progress is due to forward-looking policies that are helping the state reduce its contribution to global warming, expand its use of local renewable energy sources, increase the reliability of electricity service, and control energy costs. In particular, net energy metering has been instrumental in the growth of California’s rooftop solar market. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for benefits that they provide to other users of the electricity grid. Net energy metering is especially important for the residential solar market – and thus a key part of developing a more localized, reliable and efficient electricity system.
America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. These 12 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”
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.
After yet another year in which many parts of the country were hit by scorching heat, devastating wildfires, crippling drought, record floods and severe storms like Hurricane Sandy, a new Environment California Research & Policy Center report finds that weather-related disasters are affecting hundreds of millions of Americans, and documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
Leading California businesses are showing that consumer products don’t have to contain toxic chemicals, threaten public health, or produce large amounts of waste. Safer alternatives exist, and they work. Companies that design their products to be safe from the start are seizing new business opportunities, gaining access to new markets, improving efficiency, and saving money—all of which gives them an edge over their competitors. These businesses are also building momentum for a new green chemistry industry in California.