This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
California Marks the Success of its Renewable Energy Program
While California is home to many large wind energy, solar power, and geothermal energy installations, it is also home to a growing number of smaller wind and solar energy installations, in part because of the financial support provided by the state's Renewable Energy Program, administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC). According to the CEC's annual report, released on December 3rd, the program has provided more than $82 million in rebates for a total of 5,300 solar and wind energy systems installed at homes and businesses throughout the state. The systems have a combined capacity of more than 20 megawatts, and systems comprising another 9 megawatts in capacity are under construction. The program's support for new commercial renewable energy plants has thus far yielded 40 new projects that total 259 megawatts in capacity, and the program has helped 275 existing facilities—totaling 4,400 megawatts—either remain competitive or return to service. The program has also supported more than 200,000 purchases of renewable energy by consumers. See the CEC report (PDF 1.28 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.
California provides a tax credit for solar and wind energy installations, and is currently offering incentive payments of $3.80 per watt for solar power systems less than 30 kilowatts in capacity, and $2.30 per watt for wind energy systems up to 7.5 kilowatts in capacity. Those incentives are scheduled to drop by 20 cents per watt on January 1st, but due to the large response to the solar incentive, the CEC is considering decreasing the solar power incentive to $3 per watt. The CEC will hold a public workshop tomorrow to solicit comments on that change. See the announcements on the CEC's Consumer Energy Center Web site.