The incredible 2017 solar surge in China brought its total solar installed capacity up to 130 gigawatts. As a cursory look at these statistics makes obvious, in one year China increased its solar by nearly 70 percent. In short, it wasn’t so far from doubling its ability to generate electricity from solar sources.
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Solar power is becoming the cheapest way to generate electricity, according to leading analysts. Data produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) showed the cost of solar in 58 lower-income countries – including China, Brazil and India – had fallen to about a third of levels in 2010 and was now slightly cheaper than wind energy.
On the heels of the recent global summit in Paris to tackle climate disruption, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled against an important piece of the climate solution puzzle: India’s ambitious program to create homegrown solar energy. The ruling shows that decades-old, over-reaching trade rules are out of sync with the global challenge to transition to 100 percent clean energy.
By using money raised by the government to help fight global warming, the grid alternative project is aiming to get polluting companies to pay for putting solar panels on the roofs of homes that cannot afford to do it themselves. This effort will install home solar arrays in disadvantaged neighborhoods, using $14.7 million raised through California’s cap and trade system for reining greenhouse gas emissions.
The program was first introduced by California state senator Keven de Leon, who spoke at a recent solar panel even say, “I introduced SB 535 in 2011 to ensure that our disproportionately impacted communities benefit from investments in clean energy. These investments will bring energy savings, quality jobs, and environmental benefits where they are needed most.”
In order to qualify, homeowners must be located in a “disadvantaged” neighborhood, as defined by state guidelines. They must also be earning 80% or less than the area’s median income per household.
“These investments will bring energy savings, they’ll bring quality jobs, and they’ll also bring environmental benefits where they’re needed the most,” said state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, who wrote the 2012 law.
By using 10% of this money on solar panels it is like killing two birds with one stone; you save lower income families money, while also making big fossil fuel polluting companies help cut energy emissions in the state.
“We envision a world where families, regardless of income, can have access to clean power and bills they can afford,” Mackie said. “For us we are really about solutions and it’s about solving a problem one family at a time, one rooftop at a time.”