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Let A Million Solar Homes Bloom
Jamais Cascio, 21 Aug 04

As we've noted before, California's celebrity Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has turned out to be moderately green in many of his policies. The latest example of both the "green" and the "moderately" is his new proposal for California to add one million solar-powered homes by 2017, building on proposed legislation to require home builders to offer optional solar panels by 2008. While a million new solar homes sounds like a nicely ambitious number, the projected date (2017) seems somewhat timid (the California Building Industry Association projects that 200,000 new homes will be built in the state in 2004, so even without any growth in that pace, we'd be looking at around two and a half million by 2017; it's much more likely that the pace will climb, so a total of three or even four million new homes by 2017 is more plausible). I suspect that there are too many converging forces -- energy costs, recognition of environmental effects of certain types of energy production and use, the growing popularity of "smart grids" among planners and the growing diversity and dropping cost of solar power systems -- for such a development to take that long.

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