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California Wants All New Homes to Run on Solar but Rooftop Solar Players might not Benefit

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The USA government under President Trump has turned rabidly anti-Green and even reneged on the Paris Agreement which was not very ambitious to start with. However, the concerns over climate change and global warming have become more and more acute these days with tangible repercussions being seen in the form of extreme climate events such as cyclones, droughts, etc.

Despite Mr. Trump, USA cities and states are pushing for climate mitigation and GHG reduction measures on their own. California which is the USA’s largest state economy has always been at the forefront in the fight against climate change. It was one of the first states to push for solar energy and is even pushing hard now to increase the share of solar energy in its overall energy mix. The state has legislated a new measure by which all new houses (most) will have to be powered by solar energy starting from 2020. This measure was supposed to immensely benefit the solar rooftop installers in the U.S. such as Vivint, SunRun and Sunpower which have a long and strong presence in the state.

Also, read Solar Rooftop could explode with Google’s Sunroof.

Rooftop Project

However, SMUD which is a major California utility has asked for a change under which new houses can be powered not only through rooftop solar systems but can buy solar power from community solar farms or other solar sources. This in effect will meet the main objective of this measure which is to increase solar energy usage. However, rooftop solar installers are against this change as it will affect their business. They are citing that rooftop solar is better as it does not require the development of transmission and distribution lines which are susceptible to fires. The solar energy is generated closer to the load and as such more efficient. The homebuilders will prefer the utility option as they could buy the solar power in bulk at a lower rate instead of working on each rooftop solar system. They might also get a cheaper rate as compared to the rooftop solar system.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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