Governor Brown Signs Two Important Solar Power Bills

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Environment California Applauds Governor’s Commitment to Growing Mainstream Solar Power Market

Environment California

On a dependably sunny morning at Fowler Elementary School, Governor Jerry Brown signed key bills that will keep California a world-class solar power leader.   Addressing lawmakers and students assembled for the signing event, Brown spoke with conviction about California’s goals of pollution-free energy, local economic development and local jobs, stating, “We’ve got a lot of solutions and we’re working on them.”

“Solar power is a no-brainer solution to California’s air pollution and economic development problems,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California, which supported two of the three bills signed today. “We applaud the governor’s vision of a truly clean energy future for California’s children to inherit.”

Two of the three bills signed today were strongly supported by Environment California.

Senate Bill 585 (Kehoe) authorizes a budget increase for the California Solar Initiative (CSI), an incentive program created in 2006 to drive the installation of 3,000 megawatts of rooftop solar power by 2016, while also reducing the price of solar power and creating a vibrant, sustainable industry for California over the long term.

According to Environment California analysis, four years into the program, it is succeeding, with more than 800 megawatts of rooftop solar energy installed across the state—a greater amount of solar than all but four other nations in the world. In addition, the price of solar has experienced significant reductions, with recent projections by Environment California that residential solar will pass the break-even point by mid-2014 if the cost of installations continues to decline at the same rate that it has over the last four years.

“It is because the California Solar Initiative is working so well that we believe today’s signing of SB 585 is critical to achieving California’s ultimate goal of creating a vibrant, self-sufficient solar market,” said Kinman.

Environment California also welcomes Governor Brown’s signing of Assembly Bill 1150 (M. Perez), which extends the Self Generation Incentive Program, providing rebates for wind, fuel cells and other technologies that can generate electricity on-site where the electricity will be consumed.  

Together, SB 585 and AB 1150 will play important roles in ensuring the success of Governor Brown’s pioneering call for building 12 GW of rooftop solar and other forms of small scale renewable energy by 2020—that’s enough energy to power the equivalent of 9 million single-family homes.

“Californians are eager to embrace the significant benefits of solar power,” said Kinman. “We applaud Governor Brown’s signing of SB 585 and AB 1150 and are optimistic that California will continue to implement the strong policies needed to achieve the clean energy future that the governor envisions.”