California is pushing for greater solar energy capacity in the coming years, as seen through both houses of the California legislature producing bills that mandate the state derive 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources. However, San Jose Inside reports that rooftop solar is not included in either of these bills.
The Sacramento Bee reports that this exclusion is due to the fact that lawmakers are assigning less value to rooftop panels because some of the electricity is used by the home's occupant, which is in direct contrast to energy sold to wholesale utilities. Solar farms and other large-scale solar endeavors will be counted in this 50 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal, but rooftop solar will be left out, which causes a competitive disadvantage for smaller solar providers.
Yet despite this omission, rooftop solar is still on the rise in California. Not only do small-scale rooftop projects contribute directly to the economy, they also help with water conservation, which is especially significant during our current drought. Furthermore, GTM Research found that around 73 cities in Southern California installed a minimum of one megawatt of rooftop solar capacity last year.
"As with most critical issues of our day, the world is looking to California to lead the way on clean energy, and our legislators have responded by setting a bold vision," San Jose Inside writes. "But their vision is incomplete as long as it excludes the more than 200,000 Californians who are doing their part to make it a reality."
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