11 Jan 2013:
California Solar Rebate
Program Reaches 1-Gigawatt Milestone
California homeowners and businesses, taking advantage of a state rebate program that encourages the installation of solar panels, are now generating 1 gigawatt — or 1,000 megawatts — of electricity,
California Takes the Lead
With New Green Initiatives
California is taking bold steps to tackle climate change — from committing to reductions in emissions, to establishing a cap-and-trade system, to mandating more zero-emission vehicles. The bottom line, Mark Hertsgaard
reports, is to foster an economy where sustainability is profitable.
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roughly the equivalent of a nuclear power plant, state regulators say. Launched in 2007, the $2.4 billion California Solar Initiative
has offered rebates as high as $2.50 per watt to businesses and homeowners who installed solar panels, with a target of generating 1,940 megawatts by the end of 2016. According to state data, the program so far has encouraged the installation of 1,066 megawatts, more solar capacity than any other state and more than most countries. While the state incentive has fallen by as much 92 percent since the program was introduced, the number of applications continues to increase as the price of solar power installations falls, the San Francisco Chronicle reports
. When the state program started six years ago, residential solar systems cost about $9.76 per watt. They now cost about $6.19 per watt. “The costs are going down as we hoped, and the market is heading closer to self-sufficiency,” said Edward Randolph, energy director of the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees the rebate program.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.