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CA Proposition 39 raises $500 million a year for schools

California: Proposition 39 to boost renewables

In the wake of the hype surrounding Tuesday’s presidential election, an important boost to renewable-energy development in California has received little attention. Proposition 39 was passed by a 60% majority at the state’s poll, which is hoped to deliver US$500/a for renewable energy development in the state.

Proposition 39 closes a corporate loophole that proponents claimed cost the state around $1 billion in lost annual taxation income. Half of that will now be channeled into energy efficiency and clean energy projects in Californian schools and public buildings.

Photovoltaics appears to be well situated to benefit from increased investment, as distributed rooftop clean energy solutions should suit the municipal and school sites in sunny California.

Local photovoltaic and renewable energy advocates have welcomed Proposition 39, with California solar company Solaria’s David Hochschild being quoted in local media saying that in the long term, the investment will pay for itself. “When you put solar panels on schools and efficiency upgrades on schools, you are saving schools money. And that helps get more teachers in the classroom.”

Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/california–proposition-39-to-boost-renewables-_100009143/#ixzz2BkeRobb5

PROP. 39 OK SEEN AS WELCOME NEWS FOR LOCAL CLEAN-ENERGY BUSINESSES

Energy took the stage in Tuesday’s elections, from the presidential race to California’s long list of ballot propositions, and the results hold immediate and long-term implications for Southern California.

The approval of Proposition 39 should funnel an estimated $500 million a year for five years into energy-efficiency retrofits on buildings, starting with public schools and universities.

President Barack Obama in his acceptance speech talked of “freeing ourselves from foreign oil” and ensuring our children aren’t “threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

CA Prop 39 raises $500 million a year for schools and universities

Analysts see that translating into continued government backing for renewable energy, electric vehicles and increased fuel efficiency standards.

Natural gas, meanwhile, will continue to have the upper hand over coal, which makes up an already dwindling portion of the state’s energy mix.

Jim Waring of La Jolla-based CleanTECH San Diego said Obama’s re-election preserves the federal government’s willingness to take chances on investments in renewable energy and clean technology despite some business failures. That is welcome news for clean technology research and development businesses in San Diego.

“When you are trying to redo an economic system you need to have open minds, you need to be able to accept that there will be successes and there will be failures,” said Waring of the nonpartisan advocacy group for sustainable energy.

Obama’s re-election leaves open the possibility that Congress may renew a key government incentive for industrial wind development known as the production tax credit. There are at least a half-dozen major wind developers with offices or projects in San Diego County that stand to benefit.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney opposed the extension of the credit, set to expire Dec. 31. The tax mechanism can offset nearly a third of the costs of developing an industrial scale wind farm.

“If Governor Romney had been elected, there would have been no chance” for renewal, Waring said. “The production tax credit is still vulnerable. … But it’s not dead.”

As for Proposition 39, the measure closes an out-of-state tax loophole and is expected to raise up to $1 billion a year. Half of those funds will be dedicated to energy-efficiency retrofits.

That infrastructure investment is designed to pay off in long-term energy savings, adhering to existing state laws that stress conservation ahead of all other energy solutions.

Supporters said Proposition 39 would create a more equitable approach to business taxes and bring in additional revenues for a cash-strapped state. They outnumbered on Tuesday critics who called the initiative nothing more than a tax increase that will slow economic growth and cost consumers.
Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/09/tp-prop-39-ok-seen-as-welcome-news-for-local/

SEIA Congratulates Obama on Re-Election, Praises Administration’s Energy Policy

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the following statement from president and CEO Rhone Resch in reaction to President Barack Obama’s re-election for a second term:

“SEIA congratulates President Barack Obama on his reelection. President Obama has been a tremendous supporter of solar energy and we look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration over the next four years.

“To date, the Obama Administration has created and supported pro-solar policies that have been vital to the success of the industry. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009.

President Obama has been a tremendous supporter of solar energy“Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by 400 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 5,700 megawatts today. The Administration enacted a policy allowing solar installations for the first time on public lands and set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of 2012, which has been a great driver of this growth. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households, and 2012 will be another year of record growth for our industry.

“Policy certainty is crucial to continue the growing role of solar in America’s energy mix.  Stable policy frameworks at the federal and state level, including maintaining and expanding commitments to renewable energy initiatives, spur and leverage private sector investments in the solar industry to meet our nation’s future energy needs.

“As we recover from the recession, America needs plentiful and diverse energy resources, including solar, to power our economy. Solar is clean, reliable, and more affordable than ever. Since the beginning of 2011, the average cost of solar panels has dropped more than 50 percent and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by more than a third, thanks to innovation, entrepreneurship, and strong federal and state policies leveraging private investment.

“More than nine out of 10 voters want the U.S. to develop and use more solar power, and the president understands the importance of solar to the American people. The solar industry looks forward to continuing our productive working relationship with the Obama Administration, the incoming 113th Congress, and state legislatures throughout the country to create smart policies that help power our homes and businesses with domestic energy and create jobs across America.”

This was originally posted at seia.org

The Administration on Domestic Energy Policy

A snap shot of the current administration on domestic energy policy. We use 20% of the worlds oil and only have 2% of the worlds oil reserves….doesn’t add up for the long run. Obama speaking from Copper Mountain Solar Project in Boulder City, NV