Image courtesy of current events via flickr
At a press event meant to highlight LA's renewed focus on clean energy - carefully staged with a row of solar panels as the backdrop - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several state officials, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, announced a solar initiative that would create up to 400 green jobs over the next 3 years to install and maintain solar panels on buildings around the city. Claiming that, "Clean energy is not a luxury; it's a necessity," he went on to broadly outline the plan's structure, to be carried out by the city's Department of Water and Power - at a cost of $270 million through 2017 - as one component of a jobs strategy meant to generate 100,000 living-wage positions. The DWP, which currently produces 10.5 MW of solar energy, is working to comply with a new state law requiring retail energy suppliers to increase their solar output - in this case, to 280 MW - by installing solar panels throughout the city.
In addition, the DWP intends on issuing rebates to companies that install their own panels and on forming partnerships with various businesses to use the new source of energy. Solar power, which only accounts for a minute 0.1% of LA's energy portfolio, should be able to gain heavy traction in a city often blessed with fair weather; despite a slow start, this new initiative - as part of Villaraigosa's overall clean energy plan for the city - has the dual advantage of upping the city's reliance on renewable energy and of creating new green jobs. For a quick take on solar power's progress in making inroads in the Golden State, be sure to check out Cooler Planet's neat Google Maps mash-up.
Via ::Los Angeles Times: L.A. plugs solar power (newspaper)