California’s new solar energy policy

Big news out of California last week, as Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California’s new solar power policy into law:

The bill, which cleared the state Senate last week, calls for the installation of 1 million rooftop solar panels on homes, businesses, farms, schools and public buildings by 2018.

The solar systems would generate 3,000 megawatts of power and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 3 million tons, equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the state’s highways and making California the third biggest solar producer after Japan and Germany.

It is hard to over-state how big this is for the environment. Solar power production will skyrocket, reducing the need for generating electricity from fossil fuels. When done on a small scale, this would have a small impact. When done on a scale as large as California, the impact will be enormous.

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