Rooftop solar is good for turtles and cactuses

Another week, another insightful piece by LA Times’ Sammy Roth. This time, Sammy highlights the tension between large-scale renewable energy and protecting open space in the California desert – and notes how rooftop solar can ameliorate this tension.

The LA Times article cites two contrasting studies about how to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is the Biden Administration’s climate change goal:

  • One study shows that we will need 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy from large solar & wind farms, using 225,000 square miles of land (larger than California).
  • Another study shows thatif we more¬†aggressively utilize rooftop solar and storage, we will need only 1,500 megawatts of energy from large-scale renewables.

In other words, rooftop solar and battery storage can cut in half the need for large-scale, land-gobbling solar and wind farms over the next three decades. 

To be clear, Solar Rights Alliance is not against large-scale renewable energy development. Most credible studies show that even with lots of rooftop solar and storage, we will still need lots of large-scale renewable energy to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

But rooftop solar reduces the need for large-scale renewable energy, which also reduces the environmental impact of clean energy development while also helping people control their energy bills and protect themselves from power outages.

Given this, why in the world are California regulaltors considering putting the brakes on rooftop solar?


More reading:

3/4/12: Los Angeles Times: Saving desert tortoises is a costly hurdle for solar projects