Solar Power in the Golden State- is it a blueprint for the rest of the country?
We at Solar UV Solutions try to stay abreast of any legislation related to renewable energy. And, recent laws enacted in California related to solar panel installations certainly caught our attention. Our most populous state often sets the trends and standards for the rest of the country, hence, the popular saying – “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.”
The Golden State has one of the most aggressive commitments to using renewable energy of any state. Their Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires all utilities in the state to source 33 percent of their electricity sales from clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biopower, by 2020.
This is not surprising, coming from a state that has already set the benchmark for the nation in new fuel efficiency standards on cars, a measure boldly aimed to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
San Francisco recently enacted the boldest move yet to embrace solar power. The city’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Scott Wiener’s legislation to require that solar panels be installed on new residential and commercial building construction.
This legislation makes San Francisco the first major city in the US to require solar to be installed on new construction. The city has established a goal of meeting 100% of the City’s electricity demand with renewable energy. Beginning in January, new commercial and residential buildings of up to 10 stories in height will have to install rooftop solar systems for heat or electricity under legislation unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.
California already is vigorously promoting solar energy as its FUTURE choice for energy!
Under existing state law, California’s Title 24 Energy Standards require 15% of roof area on new small and mid-sized buildings to be “solar ready,” which means the roof is unshaded by the proposed building itself and free of obtrusions. This state law applies to all new residential and commercial buildings of 10 floors or less.
Supervisor Wiener’s ordinance for San Francisco builds on this state law by requiring this 15% of “solar ready” roof area to have solar actually installed. This can take the form of either solar PV or solar water panels, both of which supply 100% renewable energy.
To gauge the impact the mandate could have, the Department of Environment applied the proposal to construction projects in the pipeline in the third quarter of 2014 and found the 200 projects with solar installations would ‘avoid over 26,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.’ The current 24.8 MW supply of solar systems in place would increase by 7.4 MW. This will provide 10.5 GWh of electricity annually, enough energy to power about 2,500 San Francisco homes. Source: Scott Wiener, San Francisco Examiner, April 19, 2016.
It’s products exactly like our solar thermal collectors that are being mandated for installation in California. Our SunQuest® 250 system is scalable and adaptable to supplement installed heating and hot water systems to reduce energy consumption.
It’s a system offering a nominal return on investment (ROI) in 3-5 years. And, as California legislators already know, is technology that will significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Isn’t it time you considered joining the renewable energy movement?