The California Energy Commission’s recent decision to require rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on most new homes has engendered praise from some quarters and criticism from others.
California legislation requires utilities and other retail electricity providers to disclose sources of the power supplied in their service areas. These fuel content laws were enacted to verify the claims of various retail providers about the mix of their power sources and to help consumers determine the potential environmental impacts of choosing one service over another.
Although California far exceeds all other states in solar electric capacity, it’s falling short in efforts to support community solar programs that can make accessing solar more equitable and allow distributed solar systems to better support the electricity grid.
The impressive nationwide growth in the adoption of renewable distributed energy resources (DERs) provides technical challenges for utilities long accustomed to pushing power out from remote locations toward load centers in urban areas. When adoption was low, grid operators could largely ignore the existence of distributed renewables.
Carbon-free electricity is an essential part of efforts to achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, regulators tend not to face head-on the need to phase out the use of fossil fuel power production. In fact, the U.S.