The environment is pretty high on everybody’s list of concerns these days, and for very good reason. It’s become pretty apparent — in an inescapable way, many would argue — that we’ve not done the best job at keeping the environment in great shape. We’ve certainly come a long way technologically, but apparently we’ve done so at great cost to the planet. As such, we’ve seen a great uptake in the environmental movement, with individuals and corporations alike dedicating themselves to figuring out new and more sustainable ways to do the things that they need to do on a regular basis. Part of this push towards a society more oriented around sustainable habits has been the state of California’s initiative to provide rebates for business owners and homeowners that want to use solar panels to power their homes. Instead of conventional energy, solar panels utilize the sun’s energy to create a more sustainable form of electricity. This initiative was introduced in 2007 and has been wildly successful. In fact, even though the rebates decline in value as time passes (they’re about 90 per cent less valuable now than they were when they were originally introduced) signups for them are still on the rise. This a great indication that sustainable energy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the state recently hit a huge milestone that supports this statement.
Just recently, the state of California, through its solar panel rebate program, funded enough solar panel systems to generate a whopping one gigawatt of energy — this is about the equivalent of the energy produced by an entire power plant at any given moment. With this impressive number, California’s solar efforts have surpassed the energy generation records held by most countries, and certainly any state. Perhaps you’ve seen neighbors with solar panels on their roofs, or have noticed businesses installing new units designed to capture the sun’s rays. It’s entirely likely that they’ve taken advantage of this renewable energy program, which provides rebates for those looking to convert to environmentally-friendly solar energy.
At present, state residents have so far installed nearly eleven hundred megawatts’ worth of solar systems. When the legislature was designed in 2006, its aim was to jump start the nascent solar energy industry, with the hopes of developing more sustainable forms of energy for consumers at the same time. This effort seems to have been pretty successful, and the initiative looks like it’s about to hit its overall goal of generating 1,940 megawatts of power (the equivalent of about three gigawatts) by the year 2016. The rebate program, which is worth about $2.4 billion and is spearheaded by the California Solar Initiative, is on track to accomplish its goal of funding about three power plants’ worth of energy using clean solar power systems within the next three years. When it reaches its goal, the initiative hopes to account for about half of the solar energy that’s used in the state, and will likely establish California as a leader in the quest for sustainable and renewable energy. Hopefully the rest of the country will follow suit, so that we might usher in a time of clean energy and more sustainable living for everyone.