Southern IL farmers learn about solar energy

Cheryl Sanders
May 17, 2018

Last week, after rumors and speculation had all but confirmed it, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it would approve changes to the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards which would mandate all new residential buildings - including new homes, condos, and apartment buildings - be built with solar PV installations of some sort, or tap into a community solar project. California also has the goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

The requirement would apply only to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install rooftop solar panels with the help of rebate programs. After obtaining favourable results, solar panels should be made mandatory in privately-owned residential and commercial plots.

Southern California Edison (SCE) supports the California Energy Commission's adoption of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards ("Title 24"). With around 850 MW of large scale solar now under construction, and close to a further 1.2 GW having reached financial close and set to break ground, 2018 is shaping up as a record-breaking year for large scale solar.

The MNRE is also in the process of launching a scheme for new hybrid projects under this policy, which are 10 to 15 percent cheaper than 100 percent solar or wind projects, an official told said.

However, an analysis by the federal Institute for Energy Research (IER), said this mandate could increase home prices by more than expected.

California, the most populous state, with almost 40 million people, has positioned itself as the nationwide leader on clean energy, pushing for more electric vehicles on the roads and lower emissions from homes and commercial buildings.

"That's just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live", Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber's GOP leader, said Tuesday. GTM also note that their forecasts are a baseline and that there is greater potential available, but it will depend on what size solar addition becomes the norm for new construction and the segment of new houses that are eligible for exemption - those that may simply be incompatible or built in the shade of buildings or trees.

About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family units will be built in 2020, the commission estimates.

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