- San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who is running for the California Assembly, will introduce a resolution called Solar Vision 2020 that would require all new commercial and residential buildings in the city to have solar panels, rooftop gardens, or both, unless they lack the roof space or have an impediment.
- Solar Vision 2020 would double the amount of San Francisco’s present 26 megawatts of solar to 50 megawatts in 2020. It would extend beyond 2018 the city’s program of solar incentives and rebates to homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit groups. And It would create a new incentive program to drive the installation of 2 megawatts per year of solar on existing rental housing, roughly the equivalent of 500 average single-family home solar systems.
- Opponents do not debate the proposal’s favorable impact on San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions and its solar industry, but caution the program, added to California’s already-high energy efficiency standards for new buildings, would discourage new construction in the city.
“If you ever go to the top of a tall building in San Francisco and look down, you see the potential for sustainability on every single roof in the city,” Chiu said. “We need to get the conversation going.”
“We have to drastically reduce our carbon footprint,” said Tim Colen, director of smart growth and urban development group Housing Action Coalition. “But how do we do…all of the energy and water saving standards we want add to the cost of residential construction, at a time when we’ve got a crisis in affordability[?]”
“Solar generates clean energy, and it generates jobs,” said Jeanine Cotter, CEO of San Francisco solar installer Luminalt.
Chiu plans to introduce his proposal this week, according to SFGate.