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California adopts massive solar energy project




California adopts massive solar energy project

California adopts massive solar energy project
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
January 13, 2005

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $2.9 billion program to make the state one of the world’s largest producers of solar power.

The plan would add 3,000 megawatts of solar energy over 11 years through the installation of 1 million rooftop solar energy systems on homes, businesses, farms, schools and public buildings. The amount of electricity generated would be equivalent to about six new power stations. Solar power could save California utility customers an estimated $9 billion from a reduced need to build new power plants and purchase electricity supplies at peak demand.

Environmentalists said the California Solar Initiative could help reduce the cost of solar energy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gases emissions blamed for global warming.

“With rising energy prices and continued air pollution, this is exactly the kind of landmark initiative California needs,” Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California, told the Associated Press. “From this, we’re going to see cleaner air, affordable solar energy and California regaining its world leadership in solar power.”

The decision follows the state’s approval of a project that would put some 20,000 solar dishes in the Mohave Desert to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. A second project in the Imperial Valley, east of San Diego, is awaiting state approval. Green energy advocates hope the two large solar projects in the desert of California could boost industrial-scale development of solar technology.


California’s move towards solar technology and other green energy sources comes after a state study found significant evidence that greenhouse gas pollution can be substantially reduced at a profit rather than a cost. The study, commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, found that energy efficiency has helped the California economy grow an extra 3 percent – a $31 billion gain – compared to business as usual. Further, the researchers say that each Californian typically saved about $1,000 per year between 1975 and 1995 just through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.



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Energy efficiency helped California grow an extra $31 billion finds study:
Countering Bush administration claims to the contrary, environmental officials for the state of California and the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo have found significant evidence that greenhouse gas pollution can be substantially reduced at a profit rather than a cost. The study, commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, found that energy efficiency has helped the California economy grow an extra 3 percent – a $31 billion gain – compared to business as usual. Further, the researchers say that each Californian typically saved about $1,000 per year between 1975 and 1995 just through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.