California is all set to require solar panels for new homes and low-rise apartments starting 2020. This is country’s first time enforcing such regulation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. California has always been a leader and trendsetter in clean-energy goals and it also became the first state that requires all new homes to have solar plants.
Robert Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association said,
“Adoption of these standards represents a quantum leap in statewide building standards… You can bet every other of the 49 states will be watching closely to see what happens.”
Solar-energy installations has been made mandatory for most single-family homes as well as multi-family residential buildings up to three stories, including condos and apartment complexes.
Whereas, some experts warn that increasing the cost to build new homes will only worsen the state’s affordable housing crisis. It will add thousands of dollars to the cost of home when a shortage of affordable housing is one of California’s most pressing issues.
Till now it is clear that the big problem with the California Energy Commission’s new mandate which passed on May 9 and goes into effect in 2020, is cost. Compared with solar power plants, rooftop solar is “a much more expensive way of increasing renewable on the grid,” says Severin Borenstein, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared his concerns in a letter to one commissioner.
The California Building Industry Association, or CBIA, estimates that only 15 to 20 percent of the single-family homes built in California have solar panel installations. At least seven cities in the state already have solar mandates of one form or another on new buildings, including San Francisco.
California, the most populous state, with nearly 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.
David Hochschild, a member of the Energy Commission said,
“This is a very bold and visionary step that we’re taking.”
Efficient energy storage is also a point of consideration. With too much push towards green energy by California, there is excess of energy generated on extremely sunny days pushing the prices in negative region.
A number of issues exist but the fight goes on and the push for green energy doesn’t seem to stop here.