California’s energy sector is hurtling towards the point of decision. Despite its reputation as a green leader, this is the #3 American state for crude oil production. In the past few years, solar energy production has grown to supply around 16% of the state’s electricity.1 A significant portion (5.7%) is supplied by rooftop solar. Though there is considerable push back from Big Oil, the California legislation’s goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 seems attainable. What are residential solar installation costs in America’s battleground state?
There were about 150 of them, chanting “We will fight corporate greed.” “how do you spell corporate greed?: SDG&E” and “Solar Power is What We need.” Some wore t-shirts boasting of affiliations to environmental groups like the Sierra Club or San Diego 350.org. Others were from local installers like Sullivan Solar Power, Stellar Solar, or SolarCity. The principal speaker was County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who has long championed rooftop solar. They were outside San Diego Gas & Electric’s corporate headquarters, in response to the utility’s appeal of the California Public Utilities Commission’s decision to leave the current Net Energy Metering (NEM) program in place. The San Diego Solar Community responds to SDG&E.
Many hoped California’s net-metering war was ending two years ago, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 327. The state’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was given to the end of this year to create a new tariff that will kick in once the state’s big three investor owned utilities (PG&E, SCE and SDG&E) reach 5% nameplate generation capacity under net metering. With the deadline approaching, the “big three” went on the offensive. One of the California Public Utilities Commission hearings was in San Diego, on Oct. 28, 2015. That was where County Supervisor Dianne Jacob Defends Rooftop Solar.
As San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is decommissioned, a toxic waste dump is being built 600 feet from the Pacific Ocean, and roughly the same distance from the I-5. Unless some action is taken, 1,400 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel will be stored there. Californians have never voted on whether to demand the Department of Energy remove nuclear waste. The San Diego Board of Supervisors say No to spent nuclear fuel.