Los Angeles, CA (October 12, 2010) – This week, Los Angeles plays host to Solar Power International, the largest business to business solar industry event in the world. Organized by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the even welcomes over 27,000 conference attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Global Green USA, the only national environmental organization headquartered in
Southern California, and the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) have partnered to use this conference as an opportunity to call for a strong solar PV program for Los Angeles.
“Given the abundance of sun in Los Angeles it is ironic – if not tragic - that solar power remains elusive for most LA residents and businesses,” said Global Green Policy Director Mary Luevano. “While the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has an aggressive, commendable plan to generate 20% of its electricity from large-scale renewable sources like wind, solar is still a tiny part of the mix. Currently, rooftop solar generates a measly .1% of electricity for LA. Increased solar on top of homes, businesses, and schools not only helps save money and create clean jobs in LA, it helps reduce peak demand, and the risk of blackouts.”
The coalition of business, environmental and labor organizations led by LABC has banded together to support a study commissioned by LABC in partnership with UCLA that identifies a plan for installing 600MW of rooftop solar over the next ten years using a Feed in Tariff mechanism made popular in Germany and emulated in several other countries around the world. Feed in Tariffs pay real-time prices to solar power generators for all of the solar they produce incentivizing their deployment and shortening the payback. Currently, solar power can only be used to payback electricity used at a building, but excess solar production is provided to the grid without any compensation.
“Solar PV is ideal for Los Angeles because we have plenty of sun. We should stop sending dirty jobs to Utah and start creating clean jobs in LA” said Global Green USA Policy Director Mary Luevano. “Global Green’s advocacy for a robust rooftop solar program in LA started over 6 years ago and LABC picked up the ball and ran. We fully support the LABC/UCLA study and hope the Mayor and City Council will adopt it soon.”
“This year, when our City Leaders adopt the 600 MW CLEAN-UP LA Solar Program, it will produce 18,000 green jobs and over $2 billion in private investment over the next 10 years,” says Mary Leslie, President of the LA Business Council. “This program is designed to be cost-competitive with existing renewable power while providing a savings over time.”
Global Green’s work in solar includes policy advocacy – Global Green fought hard to support legislation that “set aside” 10% of the funds in the California Solar Initiative for low income residents – but also project-based work assisting developers of housing, schools and other public institutions to implement solar power and other green building solutions. Global Green helped develop the two first completely solar powered low-income housing developments in the country -- Solara in Poway, CA and Los Vecino in Chula Vista, CA.
Global Green USA is the only national environmental group headquartered in greater Los Angeles, and has offices in Washington D.C., New Orleans & New York. Global Green is the US affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993. Global Green is a national leader in advocating for smart solutions to global warming, including green building for affordable housing, schools and communities, as well as advancing groundbreaking solar, green building and energy efficiency legislation in California, other states and at the national level. Global Green recently released its first annual Global Solar Report Card, which gives an evaluation of progress towards solar energy use within 16 countries around the world.