Golden Gate University Law Review


This Article examines solar power in California and the role state policy has and will play in creating a thriving, self-sufficient solar power market. Section I reviews the social benefits of solar power, particularly small-scale solar power systems capable of generating electricity at the point of end-use. Section II reviews the economic benefits of solar power from a consumer point of view. Section ill examines California's 30- year history of state policies designed to drive consumers toward solar power. Section IV focuses on Japan and how it, starting in 1994, established a ten-year incentive program aimed at lowering the cost of solar power to the point of self-sufficiency, much like the goal California now pursues with the Initiative. Section V discusses the Million Solar Roofs legislation, the details of the Initiative recently adopted by the CPUC and the impacts the agency's renewed interest in solar power is likely to have on California's solar power market in the years to come. The Article concludes with a brief discussion of how California can move beyond one million solar roofs to the point where energy derived from the sun eclipses unsustainable energy resources such as fossil fuels and nuclear power.