California, Leading the Country In Clean Energy, Requires New Homes To Have Solar in 2020


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The post below is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun (

Googleplex rooftops and car parks blanketed with solar cells (attribution: Steve Jurvetson, presented at:

Solar Rooftop (presented at:

Solar panels atop a house in Riverside, CA (photo attribution: Jim Sun, presented at:

Community Solar Garden or Solar Farm of Clean Energy Collective at Cowdery Meadow Community Solar Gardens (attribution: Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at:

Visitors at a Westmill Solar Cooperative Open Day at Westmill Solar Park (attribution: MrRenewables, Westmill Solar Cooperative, Ben Cavanna, presented at:

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)



Today, California has become the first U.S. state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes and low-rise apartment buildings, starting in 2020. The California Energy Commission voted 5 to 0 to approve the new building standard/requirement that residential buildings up to three stories, including single-family homes and condos, be built with solar panels installations starting in 2020.  About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family units will be built in 2020. The commission endorsed this requirement after building representatives, utilities, and solar manufacturers and advocates voiced their support. It still needs the final approval from California’s Building Standards Commission (which usually adopts the energy panels’s recommendations when updating the state’s building codes). This is California’s latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The technical director for the California Building Industry Association Robert Raymer called it a “quantum leap.”This requirement would only be applied to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install rooftop solar panels with help from various rebate programs. The California Energy Commission estimated that adding solar panels would boost construction costs by $9,500 for a single-family home but save homeowners about $19,000 in energy cost and other expenses over 30 year period. The price of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years, therefore, it is a no-brainer that it is cost effective for all homeowners to install solar. The  amount of solar power required by the new standards is minimal and not enough to meet all the energy needs of most homes, therefore, most homes would still have to draw some of their power use from the power grid.

The regulations exempts solar panels installations when it is not cost-effective or feasible (such as for homes shrouded in shade). Community solar generation would be an option for such circumstances.

According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), California is already the nation’s leader in solar installation, with more than 5 million homes in the state using solar power. California has set the goal of all residential buildings being “zero net energy”, meaning producing as much energy as they consume. California has positioned itself as the leader for clean energy in USA, pushing more electric vehicles on the roads and lower emissions from homes and commercial buildings.

California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister said, “This is a step, a very important step, in a long trajectory that we have been planning for and telling the world….This is not a radical departure. It’s a step in the right direction to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our air, which for many, many decades California has been doing better and better each time.”

Perhaps it is high time for rest of the 49 states to also follow the California lead, for it is both economical and environmentally friendly for homeowners to install solar.


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Floridians Are Not Giving Up Sunshine For Sunshine State Yet


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Sun shines through leaves in Windermere, FL (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sun shines through leaves in Windermere, FL (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

To help clarify the press release from Floridians For Solar Choice, below, please refer to one of our earlier post (<–click).

For Update & Press Release from Floridians for Solar Choice, please refer to the italics portion of the post, below:

Contact: Floridians for Solar Choice, 754-307-7451,

Floridians for Solar Choice Coalition Discusses Future of the Coalition and Opposition to Misleading Utility-Backed Petition

Solar supporters highlight how utilities’ campaign was designed to confuse voters

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (January 11, 2016) Today, Floridians for Solar Choice joins other parties in filing briefs with Florida’s Supreme Court opposing the utility-backed constitutional amendment, which proposes to maintain Florida’s regulatory status quo for solar energy. Calling the utility-backed solar amendment misleading, solar supporters note the utilities’ proposal was launched only to confuse voters and counter the success of the broadly supported grassroots campaign launched by Floridians for Solar Choice.

“It is a cynical proposal designed to confuse voters. Its ballot language falsely tells voters that the amendment gives people the right to make a solar energy choice, when in fact it gives them nothing more than what they already have under the Florida Constitution’s basic rights and under general law – the ability to own or lease the solar equipment they use to make electricity at their homes and businesses,” said Bill Garner, attorney with Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A.

The Floridians for Solar Choice coalition acknowledges that the utilities’ multi-million dollar misinformation campaign has succeeded in confusing voters and preventing Solar Choice from gaining a slot on the 2016 ballot. However, the coalition’s goal remains unchanged: to open the solar market in Florida and encourage the development of clean and affordable energy through smart solar policy. As petitions are valid for 24 months from the date of signing, the coalition continues to explore options to qualify for the 2018 ballot and Solar Choice volunteers and partner organizations continue to collect petitions around the state.

“Florida is ranked third for rooftop solar potential by the solar energy industry, and yet remains far behind other states in installed solar because of our utility monopolized environment,” said Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice. “It is unfortunate that Florida continues to treat solar energy differently and continues to maintain barriers to free market growth of this energy source. This coalition and I will keep fighting to provide more choice to the citizens of this great state regarding their energy future.”

Although Florida’s is ranked third in the nation for rooftop solar potential by the Solar Energy Industries Association, there is a dearth of installed solar throughout the Sunshine State. The lack of extensive solar energy systems largely stems from regressive energy policies, many of which are supported by monopoly utilities wary of losing their captive customers in an open energy market.

“My experience on Florida’s Public Service Commission makes it clear that removing regressive energy policies in order to open and more-fully develop the solar market in Florida makes good sense both for Florida’s consumers and for our state’s economy,” said E. Leon Jacobs, Jr., legal counsel to the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association. “The utilities’ claims against the proposed Solar Choice amendment are simply not based in fact.”

Although the utility-backed campaign called Consumers for Smart Solar has described itself as a “diverse coalition of business, civic and faith leaders,” financial filings reveal they are entirely backed by utilities and their front groups. Electric utilities contributed more than half of the $5.9 million collected since last summer, and December’s filing are expected to demonstrate continued utility support.

“This misleading ballot amendment is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and bad for Florida. That’s why we’re challenging it in court,” said Earthjustice attorney Bradley Marshall.

The affirmation of Solar Choice’s dedication to their goal and their strong opposition to the utility backed proposal are timely given the start of the 2016 legislative session tomorrow, and the coalition remains confident that the voice of the people who want more solar in the Sunshine State will be heard.

“The Floridians for Solar Choice coalition is stronger today than ever before and we remain unwavering in our focus to open the solar market in the Sunshine State,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Yes, the utilities have more money, but their positions are on the wrong side of this issue. Deception and unethical manipulation of Florida’s voters will not win in the end. We trust the Supreme Court will see through the monopoly utilities’ chicanery and deny the false petition from ballot access.”

Below is the video of Floridians For Solar Choice Press Conference that took place on Jan. 11, 2016:

So, essentially the take-away from this post is that there is still more time  ( 754-307-7451, Floridians are not giving up the opportunity for bringing in Sunshine to our Sunshine state!

Gathered, written, photographed, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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Solar For Oil: Miracle On Pennsylvania Avenue


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave (photographed & photoblended by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave (photographed & photoblended by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sunshine Coming Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Sunshine Coming Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I could’t  decide on which of the two images above (Miracle on Pennsylvania Ave or Sunshine Coming Through) to use for this post. Perhaps we should have you all, the readers, vote on it. Let me know via

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

It’s great to be back after taking care of some family matter to report such terrific news! Thanks to one of our dear readers asking a very important question concerning the current status of our federal tax credit for installing solar.

For those of you who may need a bit of refresher on all the renewable energy & energy efficiency tax incentives throughout 50 states of USA, please click–>DSIRE. For U.S. Territories’ tax credit programs, please click U.S. Territories .  For U.S. Federal tax credit programs, please click Federal . Just a few weeks ago, an extension of the U.S. ITC (Investment Tax Credit) seemed unlikely and solar businesses globally were getting ready to base their future business strategies on the tax credit stepping down to 10% on January 1, 2017, and expiring entirely for individuals. Just at this nick of time….I should have known since my first time viewing the Miracle On 34th Street….many miracles may take place here in USA….even in Washington, D.C….

On December 18, 2015, the U.S. Senate has passed an omnibus spending bill which includes extension of the 30% federal ITC for solar (PTC for wind). Under this extension, the ITC will stay at 30% through 2020, and then decline gradually for two years before falling to 10%. The legislation also allows for PV projects to claim the credit for the year in which they begin construction. This bill includes the lifting of a 40-year ban on oil exports (this 40-year ban came into existence during the time when U.S. was having shortage of oil so it is now graduating from being a poor policy to being an exceptionally poor policy because U.S. is now an exporter rather than an importer of oil). So the elimination of this 40-year ban with ITC extension for solar (PTC for wind) is truly a win-win for both oil producers and renewable/solar producers of USA alike. It has passed both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, with the final Senate vote being 65-33.  This was the final vote needed before the bill will be signed by U.S. President Obama (who supports it).

Various studies (GTM Research indicating that 25 GW of additional PV will be put online. IHS: this will prevent the first annual decline in the global solar industry in over a decade, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, etc.) have shown that ITC extension will dramatically increase the amount of solar installed in the USA by 2020.

In a SEIA/Bloomberg report, without the extension of ITC amounts to an additional 69 GW (gigawatts) of solar deployment between 2016 and 2022,

SEIA's analysis of data using NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)'s JEDI (Jobs and Economic Development Impacts) model and BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)'s data covering the ITC (Investment Tax Credit)'s impact on jobs and economic investment between 2015-2011. (credit: SEIA, NREL, BNEF)

SEIA’s analysis of data using NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)’s JEDI (Jobs and Economic Development Impacts) model and BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)’s data covering the ITC (Investment Tax Credit)’s impact on jobs and economic investment between 2015-2022. (credit: SEIA, NREL, BNEF)

solar industry stands to lose 80,000 jobs (Solar jobs derived from NREL’s Jedi model represent demand-side jobs-years, not comparable to the Solar Foundation’s job census which accounts both demand and supply-side jobs and uses a different methodology. For more information please click: )  and ) in 2017 and an additional 20,000 jobs in related affected industries, for a total loss of 100,000 American jobs. With the ITC extension, it would yield 61,000 more solar jobs in 2017 and 58,000 more jobs in 2021, etc. It is projected that the total solar investment in the US economy between 2016-2022 will be more than $124 billion, $39 billion more than if the ITC expires.

Truly, the ITC extension will provide solar businesses the regulatory certainty to invest in their operations and hire new employees. Who’d thought that it is a result of negotiating from lifting a 40-year ban on oil export?!  Solar For Oil! It is truly a time of Miracle On Pennsylvania Avenue!  The longer I am alive, the more I have to believe in Miracles….how can one not :)….

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, photographed & photoblended, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Related articles:

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gathered, written, photographed, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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You may also be interested in these posts from the past, below:

100% Electric Vehicle and 100% Solar By 2030

Discussion of the Importance of Value of Solar With Karl Rabago

Expanded Discussion of Value of Solar

In-Depth Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy With Toby D. Couture 

“Solar Tsunami” Shared by the Effervescent Professor Jose Cordeiro of Singularity University During World Future Society 2014 

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U.S. Solar Market Had Record Growth of 41% In 2013!


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Hubbert Peak Oil Plot (credit: Hankwang at en.wikipedia & sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Great News from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Press Release, below:

New Report: U.S. Solar Market Grows 41%, Has Record Year in 2013 

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BOSTON, MA – Continuing its explosive growth, the U.S. solar industry had a record-shattering year in 2013. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Solar Market Insight Year in Review 2013, photovoltaic (PV) installations continued to proliferate, increasing 41% over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts (MW). In addition, 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) came online. Solar was the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., exceeded only by natural gas. Additionally, the cost to install solar fell throughout the year, ending the year 15 percent below the mark set at the end of 2012.

At the end of 2013 there were more than 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the U.S. totaling over 12,000 MW of PV and 918 MW of CSP.

FIGURE: New U.S. Electricity Generation Capacity, 2012 vs. 2013

Source: GTM Research, FERC

The U.S. installed 2,106 megawatts in the fourth quarter alone, 44 percent of the annual total. This makes Q4 2013 by far the largest quarter in the history of the U.S. market, exceeding the next largest quarter by 60 percent.

“Perhaps more important than the numbers,” writes Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research, “2013 offered the U.S. solar market the first real glimpse of its path toward mainstream status. The combination of rapid customer adoption, grassroots support for solar, improved financing terms, and public market successes displayed clear gains for solar in the eyes of both the general population and the investment community.”

FIGURE: U.S. PV Installations and Average System Price, 2000-2013

Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year-in-Review

“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes – and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “Last year alone, solar created tens of thousands of new American jobs and pumped tens of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.  In fact, more solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.  That’s a remarkable record of achievement.”

California continues to lead the U.S. market and installed more than half of all U.S. solar in 2013. In fact, the state installed more solar last year than the entire United States did in 2011. Despite installing the second-most PV in 2013 with 421 megawatts, Arizona didn’t live up to its 2012 total of 710 megawatts. On the other side of the spectrum, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Georgia had major growth years, installing a combined 663 megawatts, more than doubling their combined total from the year before. On the whole, the top five states (California, Arizona, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) accounted for 81 percent of all U.S. PV installations in 2013.


Source: GTM Research/SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2013 Year in Review

GTM Research and SEIA forecast another strong year in 2014 with 26% growth in the U.S. solar market. This will bring annual installations up to nearly 6 gigawatts and the cumulative total will be just shy of the twenty gigawatt milestone.

Report Key Findings:

  • The U.S. installed 4,751 MW of solar PV in 2013, up 41 percent over 2012 and nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008.
  • There is now a total of 12.1 GW of PV and 918 MW of CSP operating in the U.S
  • There were 140,000 individual solar installations in the U.S. in 2013, and a total of over 440,000 systems operating in total today.
  • Q4 2013 was by far the largest quarter ever for PV installations in the U.S. with 2,106 MW energized, up 60 percent over the next largest quarter (Q4 2012).
  • More solar has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than in the 30 years prior.
  • The market value of all PV installations completed in 2013 was $13.7 billion.
  • Solar accounted for 29 percent of all new electricity generation capacity in 2013, up from 10% in 2012. This made solar the second-largest source of new generating capacity behind natural gas.
  • Weighted average PV system prices fell 15% in 2013, reaching a new low of $2.59/W in the fourth quarter.
  • We forecast 26 percent PV installation growth in 2014, with installations reaching nearly 6 GW. Growth will occur in all segments but will be most rapid in the residential market.
  • The U.S. installed 410 MW of concentrating solar (CSP) in 2013, increasing total CSP capacity in the U.S. more than 80%.
  • The wave of concentrating solar power installations slated for completion at the end of 2013 into 2014 kicked off with the 280 MWac Solana project and the Genesis Solar project’s initial 125 MWac phase. In early 2014, Brightsource’s iconic Ivanpah project also began operating and SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes project began commissioning.

About U.S. Solar Market Insight:
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2013 report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market’s current and forecasted trajectory.

For more information, visit

Downloadable charts are available at:

About GTM Research:
GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research’s analysis also underpins Greentech Media’s webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, smart grid, energy storage, energy efficiency and wind power sectors.

About SEIA®:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President, Communications:  202.556.2885,
Mike Munsell, GTM Research, Marketing Manager: 617.500.7764,
Shayle Kann, GTM Research, Senior Vice President: 617.500.4216,


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Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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Every Four Minutes, Another American Home or Business Goes Solar!


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Credit: America Supports Solar-Solar Power Advocacy Network (shared at Sun Is The Future at

Want to share this letter with you, below:

Dear Susan Sun,

The numbers are in: on January 24, more than 3 million people played a part in National “Shout Out For Solar” Day.

The following week, even President Obama gave a personal “shout out” for solar during his State of the Union speech, which was seen by nearly 35 million Americans.

By all accounts the first annual “Shout Out For Solar” Day was a huge success. We are thrilled that so many of you joined us, adding your collective voices (and Facebook feeds and Twitter handles!) to the celebration of solar’s record-shattering 2013 and to look forward to a sunny 2014.

We’ve been saying it all along: America Supports Solar. In fact, nine out of ten Americans think we should be getting more of our energy from the sun. With that in mind, we launched a new website:, to help all of you – our solar supporters and advocates – better understand the important role solar energy plays in our economy and our environment.

Please take a moment to check out the new site and share it with your friends.

And thank you again for your support!


Ken Johnson,
Vice President
Solar Energy Industries Association

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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