California legislation to expand access to solar and other renewables would create thousands of local jobs and deliver significant economic benefits to the state, according to a new report released by Vote Solar, a nonprofit grassroots organization.
Current legislation created by State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Assembly Member Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, would establish new shared renewables programs to allow thousands of California homes, businesses and schools to participate in solar projects without owning their own roof.
Shared renewables arrangements allow energy customers to subscribe to an off-site renewable energy project and get utility bill credit for their portion of the energy produced.
The report found that a 1,000 MW shared renewables program created by these bills would deliver the following economic benefits to the state:
– 12,700 local jobs. Shared renewables projects would create thousands of construction-related jobs each year, in addition to long-term operations and maintenance jobs, Vote Solar says;
– $130 million in tax revenues. The sales tax on renewable energy systems installed would provide much needed revenue for the state of California; and
– $4.3 billion in total economic activity. Shared renewables projects would support wages, salaries and revenues that can be reinvested into the state economy, creating a significant new economic engine for California.
‘Three out of four Californians are currently unable to take advantage of renewable energy through the state's renewable power programs,’ Wolk says. ‘They pay into programs to support renewable energy yet can't install their own power generation system for a variety of reasons.’
The full report is available here.