Update: California’s Agressive Solar Energy Plan Stalls in Committee

Date: 13 Sep 2005 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The multi-year legislative effort to establish the nation’s most agressive solar power initiative was killed in committee on the last day of California’s legislative session. Early, broadbased support for 3,000 MW of new photovoltaic capacity and bi-partisan votes wasn’t enough to overcome some sensitive last-minute amendments to the original proposal.

According to Environment California, after passing the California Senate, the bill was derailed when it reached its second to last stop, the Assembly Appropriations Committee where three amendments were added to the bill after intense lobbying efforts.

Known as the Million Solar Roofs Bill [SB1], it would have achieved its goals in three main ways:

  • Provided $2.5 billion in consumer rebates to homeowners and businesses over ten years.
  • Required that solar panels become a standard offer for new homebuyers just like marble countertops.
  • Allowed homeowners and businesses to receive a credit on their monthly electric bill for excess power generated by their solar system.

    Solar energy advocates will now turn their attention to the Public Utilities Commission, which has the authority to establish a rebate program on its own. Other policy venue options in California include returning again to the legislature in January or taking the solar initiative straight to the voters through the statewide initiative process.


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    John Farrell

    John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.