Monday, June 06, 2005

California Warming to Solar

As local leaders met in San Francisco over the weekend, it became evident California's love-affair with the sun goes beyond the beaches and in to electric generation:

One of the appealing features of solar-electric cells is their increasingly
affordable price. Bill Blackburn of the California Energy Commission's emerging
renewables program said the cost of photovoltaics has "dropped dramatically in
the last few decades ... and costs are expected to continue to fall long term."

Across California, solar enthusiasts are beginning what they hope will
become a sun-powered version of the Gold Rush.

In mid-April, for example, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors
dedicated 1.1 megawatts worth of new solar arrays they have recently installed
at facilities throughout the county -- which should bring the county $3.8
million in PG&E rebates under the utility's 4-year-old self-generation
incentive program.

Of course, the love affair with Solar is not nearly as strong as legislative Democrats' love affair with unions. They may have killed the Governor's plan to expand solar power to a million homes by inserting a poison pill into the legislation requiring that only union jobs can qualify to install the photovalic cells--undermining recent gains in cost savings.