Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 37945
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/07/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/6/2-5 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:37945 Activity:nil
6/2     The Governator's Solar Roof Plan passes:
2018/07/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan for a new round of incentives to encourage use of solar-generated e lectricity. The approval came despite arguments that years of government support have yet to make the industry self-sufficient. California has a wealth of solar energy just when it needs it most, on st ifling summer afternoons of the sort that led to rolling blackouts and s piking electricity costs during the state's power crisis in 2000 and 200 1, said Sen. Schwarzenegger's goal is to harness that abundance of energy and produce 3,000 megawatts worth of solar power by 2018. That amounts to about 5 pe rcent of the state's entire electricity use at peak periods, the equival ent of the energy produced by six large fossil fuel-fired plants, said S en. Kevin Murray, D-Culver City, another of the bill's authors. Under the so-called "million solar roofs" bill, homeowners and businesses would get rebates for installing solar panels and would save money by p roducing their own energy and selling excess power back to the electrica l grid. The legislation proposes that utility ratepayers provide incentives for 1 0 years, a move that "will jump-start this very promising technology," C ampbell said. Senators sent the bill to the Assembly on a 28-3 vote, with Murray's prom ise to work out lingering objections from labor unions and cap the amoun t of incentives that could be offered each year. That would ensure elect ricity bills don't increase exorbitantly to pay incentives. "I didn't expect to see so much bipartisan support in the Senate. It give s us tremendous momentum" in the Assembly, said Bernadette Del Chiaro of Environment California, which is backing the bill. Tom McClintock, R-Northridge, opposed the bill, saying solar energy remains "the most expensive way we've ever devised to produce electricit y" Despite years of subsidies, solar energy costs about three times as much per kilowatt hour as natural gas- or wind-generated electricity, and is far more expensive than nuclear power or hydroelectricity, McClintock sa id. Utilities predict the majority of their customers won't be able to instal l solar panels to take advantage of the incentives, but Campbell argued that wider use eventually would mean lower energy costs for everyone.