Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Solar Plan finds new life

Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to expand solar energy in California has gotten a fresh breath of new life:

State energy officials, seeking to revive a key element of the Schwarzenegger administration's push to expand renewable energy use, on Monday outlined a plan to increase annual spending on new solar energy units to nearly $300 million.

The plan, set for formal release today, would shuffle programs among state agencies in order to revive the administration's high-profile program to build 1 million homes with units to make electricity from the sun.

That initiative died in the Legislature this year after the administration balked at union wage guarantees sought by Democrats. The new solar push aims to bypass the Legislature by tapping the state Public Utilities Commission's authority to collect money from electricity customers and spend it to boost subsidies to homes and businesses that install solar units.

Personally, I am partial to Assemblyman Richman's proposal which would have covered the California Aqueduct with solar panels instead...alas, the Dems wouldn't even give that one a hearing!