California is capturing the limitless potential of solar energy.
In our newest report, Building a Brighter Future, we check in on the progress of California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative – one of California’s – and indeed the nation’s – most important and ambitious public policy endeavors. This effort represents the first unified state push to turn solar power into a commonplace and affordable energy resource for average citizens.
The Initiative aimed to cut the cost of solar power in half and create a mainstream market for solar power within 10 years. At the same time, the program was designed to increase the stability of California’s energy supply, reduce the state’s contribution to the serious problem of global warming, make the state’s air cleaner, and launch an industry that is likely to be an economic engine for the state in decades to come.
We find that it is working. California now has more behind-the-meter solar power capacity than all but five nations of the world. In November 2011, it crossed the notable milestone of installing more than 1,000 megawatts of solar panels.
As Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman noted in his New York Times column this week, “We are […] on the cusp of an energy transformation, driven by the rapidly falling cost of solar power. That’s right, solar power.”
And that is good news for all of us who care about sustainability. With this report, we take out a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come. Tomorrow, we will continue to lay the groundwork for a clean energy future – one that will transform our economy, generate jobs, protect our health and preserve our environment for generations to come.