This morning we released a report showing that California legislation to expand access to solar and other renewables would create thousands of local jobs and deliver significant economic benefits to the state. SB 43 (Wolk) and AB 1014 (Williams) would establish up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new “shared renewables” programs to allow thousands of California homes, businesses and schools to go solar without owning their own roof.
We used the recently updated Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to estimate that a 1,000 MW shared renewables program created by these bills would deliver the following economic benefits to the state:
• 12,700 Local Jobs. Shared renewables projects would create thousands of construction-related jobs each year, in addition to long-term operations and maintenance jobs. These are high quality local employment opportunities across a broad range of education requirements, salary levels and fields.
• $130 Million in Tax Revenues. The sales tax on renewable energy systems installed would provide much needed revenue for the state of California.
• $4.3 Billion in Total Economic Activity. Shared renewables projects would support wages, salaries and revenues that can be reinvested into the state economy, creating a significant new economic engine for California.
California leads the nation in solar power, yet a significant portion of the state’s energy consumers – including millions of residential and commercial tenants – are unable to generate their own power on-site from solar. Shared renewables arrangements overcome that barrier by allowing energy customers to subscribe to an off-site renewable energy project and get utility bill credit for their portion of the energy produced.
By connecting more Californians with the clean energy they want, shared renewable energy programs can unleash significant new private investment in the state’s growing solar economy. Add the proven environmental, public health, and energy bill saving benefits of more local clean energy, and it’s clear that this is an idea whose time has come.
Learn more about California shared renewables policy and the campaign at to support it at californiasharedrenewables.org
Solar is already a huge California success story. The Golden State is leading the nation in new installations, helping to drive costs down and reaping economic and environmental benefits as more and more of our power comes from the sun. Now momentum is building in Sacramento for a new approach that will let the state shine even brighter: shared solar.
The traditional panels-on-your-roof solar model is growing like gangbusters, but it simply doesn’t work for those who don’t own a suitable roof — say, those who rent their homes or office space, or a school with shaded roofs. Shared solar allows these energy customers to instead subscribe to an offsite solar project and get credit on their utility bills for clean power produced. Other states including Colorado are already experimenting with shared solar programs (check out this article in GreenTech Media today and a new website highlighting all the shared renewables progress happening around the country). And this year, shared renewables is poised to become a reality on a larger scale in California.
Vote Solar and many allies are working to pass legislation in Sacramento that would create an initial pilot program of 500-1000 megawatts, enough to replace up to two big fossil-fueled power plants with clean energy over and above what’s required under the state’s other clean energy programs. Our coalition is supporting two shared renewables bills in Sacramento this year, Senate Bill 43 (authored by Senator Wolk), and Assembly Bill 1014 (authored by Assemblymember Williams). The bills are virtually identical, but they will be moving concurrently to make sure the momentum gets good shared solar policy to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. SB 43 and AB 1014 will both be referred for an initial committee vote in the next few weeks.
Shared solar makes sense, but you can bet on some opposition from the big utilities since it would allow more of their customers to opt out of buying power from big dirty power plants. So we’ll need your help . . .
We’re excited to announce a new website where you can learn all about the California Shared Renewables campaign: CaliforniaSharedRenewables.org. Check it out and sign up to receive updates and critical action alerts as the bills move forward.
Shared renewables will give California another way to drive solar success to greater heights, throwing the doors wide open for even more sunny goodness: energy bill savings, local jobs, private investment, cleaner air and healthier communities. Together, we can give all Californians the opportunity to choose 100% renewable energy!Continue reading