The Case for Climate Optimism

Realistic Pathways to Achieving Net Zero Emissions

Featuring Testimony from the California Air Resources Board Before Congress

Clean energy for all is the foundation to achieve our long-term climate goals. — Hector De La Torre, Board Member, California Air Resources Boar

In October of this year, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources heard testimony on the topic expressed in our title. Is there reason for optimism about climate change in California, a state that rapidly is experiencing the side effects of global warming? According to the testimony of Hector De La Torre, a Member of the California Air Resources Board, there is real reason for optimism, and renewable energy plays a major part! Solaron would like to present some of his testimony, since it is pertinent for those considering whether a personal investment in solar energy is worthwhile.

Reducing Carbon Emissions is Important for California

Mr. De La Torre began by referencing California’s statewide goals to improve air quality and minimize the impacts of climate change on the environment, our livelihood and agriculture.

In order to meet multiple objectives around climate, air quality, and reducing exposure in the most impacted communities, it is clear that California needs to transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy. The critical paths for achieving this are decarbonizing the electricity sector (italics ours), which will facilitate decarbonization in other sectors; focusing on transportation, the largest GHG-emitting sector (Editor’s Note: GHG stands for greenhouse gas); and ensuring that our efforts remain cost-effective over the long-term. This approach is already providing consumers with more clean energy choices and creating tens of thousands of jobs in the clean energy sector.

Solaron is already helping our customers to reduce the carbon-based fuels they use for generating their electricity. And the excess power created by the solar panels we install goes straight to utility grid to provide power elsewhere while giving you a monetary reward from your local utility. And Solaron is one example of a solar power company providing jobs in Sacramento, the Bay Area and Northern California through the strength of renewable energy.

Mr. De La Torre continued with this statement: “Clean energy for all is the foundation to achieve our long-term climate goals. Clean energy programs are already enabling emissions reductions.” To help you participate in reducing carbon emissions for California, Solaron assists you to take advantage of all available tax credits, incentives and rebates, whether they be federally, statewide or locally available.

California Meets Interim Goals with Help from Solar Power

Our state is meeting its emissions goals beyond expectations, as expressed in this testimony:

In 2017, the State achieved a milestone as more than 50 percent of total electricity generation (in-State generation plus imported electricity) was from zero-GHG generation sources, including large hydroelectric and nuclear power. This trend continued in 2018. Of the total zero-GHG electricity generated in 2018, 24 percent came from hydroelectric power, 22 percent from wind power, 22 percent from solar power, 18 percent from nuclear power, and 14 percent from other resources like geothermal and biomass power.

Mr. De La Torre further added that solar power is increasingly popular in California and continues to add to its renewable energy portfolio. “Growth in customer-sited solar installations statewide through the California Solar Initiative has transformed solar markets and continues to manage demand….California continues to see growth, which is evidenced by the state reaching its millionth behind-the-meter solar installation this year.” The strength of this point is especially important! California has reached one million consumer solar installations in 2019. Can you help it achieve two million?

Solar Power Makes Electric Cars More Affordable

In the beginning of his testimony, Mr. De La Torre focused on the importance of decarbonizing the transportation sector, and he mentioned that renewable energy is helping to accomplish this. That is because emissions-free vehicles often use batteries that require charging with electricity. Solar power makes that electricity free for property owners with their own charging stations! Note the following testimony on the importance of electric vehicles for meeting California’s air quality and GHG goals:

Currently, the transportation sector represents a small percentage of electricity consumption, but demand from electric vehicles is rapidly increasing. As evidence, nearly 10 percent of new vehicle purchases in the state are electric, with that number expected to continue to increase…2018 establishes a target of at least 5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2030, which is expected to further boost zero-emission vehicle sales and charging stations.

If you have an electric vehicle or plan to buy one soon, solar electric arrays are ideal additions to your home or business. Such zero-emissions vehicles and solar panels work in tandem. The car battery stores excess energy, while the panels significantly reduce the utility bill for charging the vehicle. Solar panels and electric vehicles are a win-win combination!

Watch for future articles discussing other testimony from these hearings and note the encouragement it provides for customers of Solaron of Sacramento. Solaron — helping California meet its zero-emissions goals, encouraging optimism in regards to climate change, and bringing energy for life!

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