California on Wednesday became the first state in the United States (US) to require solar panels on all new residential buildings as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. California also has the goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.
"While state owned distribution utilities would prefer bidding route for procurement of hybrid energy going forward, the clarity will be required in terms of final guidelines for procurement of such hybrid energy given that such guidelines are now in place for procurement of wind & solar energy".
For each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity, a solar system produces, owners will be granted one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) that they can then sell, creating a decent income stream for the life of the system.
The requirement would apply only to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install rooftop solar panels with the help of rebate programs. The price of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years. Vivek Sharma, Senior Director, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory, said: "The Central Electricity Authority and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission will have to come out with norms that can allow the sale of hybridised power generated from existing projects".
"This is a very bold and visionary step that we're taking", said David Hochschild, a member of the Energy Commission.
California, the most populous state, with almost 40 million people, has positioned itself as the nationwide leader on clean energy, pushing for more electric vehicles on the roads and lower emissions from homes and commercial buildings.
On the contrary, Republican legislative leaders have expressed concern that cost of add-ons on housing will be unaffordable by Californians who are already grappling with the brunt of an extremely expensive market. Some homes that are shaded by trees or taller buildings, or have roofs that are too small for panels, would be eligible for exceptions. But the returns of energy savings in the form of cost savings would be much more.
IL also has a net metering policy, that utility companies will buy back any excess electricity your solar system produces.
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