Stretching 900 miles along the West Coast, California has a wide variety of beautiful sceneries. Ranging from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to its famous cliff-lined shores, the Golden State boasts the largest economy in the nation and an energy demand second only to Texas. California understands the role solar energy plays in meeting its energy demand and is very innovative and forward-thinking with its solar policies. In fact, California is one of the leading states in the nation when it comes to renewable energy. Its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires that 50% of electricity production must come from renewable energy by 2030, ranking California 3rd amongst states with the highest RPS. Policies like the RPS are vital to lowering energy costs and incentivize consumers and utilities to contribute to solar energy production.

Solar Energy News

Current and Recent Initiatives
  • Senate Bill 617 – Residential Solar Energy Systems: Permitting
    Requires every city and county to implement an online, automated permitting platform that verifies code compliance and instantaneously issues permits for a solar energy system and an energy storage system meeting certain requirements paired with a solar energy system, as specified. Requires a city or county to amend a certain ordinance to authorize a residential solar energy system and an energy storage system to use the platform. Prescribes a compliance schedule for satisfying these requirements.
  • California Becomes First State to Require Solar on Almost All New Homes
    A new building standard approved by all five members of the California Energy Commission states that most new units built after Jan. 1, 2020 will be required to include solar systems. This move represents the state’s latest initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although a boost for the solar industry, critics warn that it will also drive up the cost of buying a home by nearly $10,000.
  • Sunny California Generates ‘Too Much’ Solar
    California is cooling down for a bit in the solar industry. In January, February, and March of this year, California produced so much solar that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity to avoid overloading its own power lines. Since the overproduction, the Golden State has taken a step back from major solar production and powered down many panels.
  • Solar Power Nonprofit Installs 9,800 New Systems in California
    GRID Alternatives, a solar power nonprofit, is celebrating the 9,800 California solar power systems installed for low-income families. It is estimated that the systems will save families roughly $280 million in energy costs over a 20-year period. With its first installation in 2004, GRID has accomplished this feat in just 14 years. GRID is hoping to move its solar project to states surrounding California soon.