San Francisco Moves to Mandatory Rooftop Solar Panels, Sets a Goal of 100% Reliance on Renewable Energy by 2020

Solar panel

The Guardian– San Francisco has this week passed landmark legislation requiring all new buildings under 10 storeys in height to be fitted with rooftop solar panels.

The city’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the new rule on Tuesday, making the metropolis the largest in the US to mandate solar installations on new properties.Smaller Californian cities such as Lancaster and Sebastopol already have similar laws in place, but San Francisco is the first large city to adopt the new standard.

From January 2017 all new buildings in the city with 10 floors or fewer must have either solar PV or solar thermal panels installed. The measure builds on existing Californian state law which requires all new buildings to have at least 15% of their roof space exposed to sunshine, in order to allow for future solar panel use.

Great for the city of San Francisco here, and great for the country as a whole. The city is moving towards the mandatory installation of solar thermal or PV cell solar panels on buildings with 10 floors or fewer. With a target of 100% energy from solar technology for the city by the year 2020, a hard stance on solar is a must. The city is taking these steps today by passing the landmark legislation, the first of its kind to be knowledge in the US. The State of California has always been ahead of the technology and carbon-reducing curve, but this is a major step forward and will help the movement toward a reduction on reliance of gasoline and other fossil fuels.

What sucks is that a state like California can get legislation like this passed, yet a state like New York is stuck in the fossil fuel past. It is past the time for New York to get it together on the energy front, and although they are making strong pushes in wind and solar energy systems, they are way behind California. On Long Island specifically, there exists some optimal wind patterns to develop some serious power-producing wind turbine farms, yet state legislators can not get any  bill to even be talked about without the endless assault from the “not in my backyard” crowd. It is time for Americans to take a step back and realize that an energy crisis will be upon us in our lifetime, and steps like this one in San Francisco will ensure that we remain sustainable in the long-term. With dropping pricing in the photo-voltaic industry, other states should be looking at what California is doing and follow suit.

-KJ

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