California Solar Initiative Reaches 1 Gigawatt Milestone

The Right Approach to Boost Solar Adoption

The state of California has been giving rebates under the California Solar Initiative to those who install solar power systems, both for residential and commercial use. So far the program has helped fund more than 1-gigawatt of solar power capacity, an important milestone that few countries, and even fewer states, have reached. The beauty of the Californian system is that it ramps down automatically over time, with smaller rebates being given out every passing year until the $2.167 billion allocated in 2007 runs out in 2016, and the $250 million for solar water heaters runs out in 2017. These programs are respectively funded by electric and gas ratepayers.

As a result, state officials say the program should reach its goal of funding enough installations to generate 1,940 megawatts by the end of 2016.

"It's one of the few examples of a program where, if anything, we're hitting the goals sooner than anticipated," said Edward Randolph, director of the energy division at the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees the program.

"The costs are going down as we hoped, and the market is heading closer to self-sufficiency." (source)

This initiative is part of a large goal for California: 3 gigawatts of solar by the end of 2016.

This is something that all sunny states and countries should do, but even without these incentives, the solar leasing model of companies like SolarCity makes it very painless and inexpensive to go solar. If it's available where you live, I'd recommend you have a look and see if it's right for you!

Via SF Gate

See also: Warren Buffett Buys World's Largest Solar Project from SunPower for $2.5 Billion

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