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Rooftop Solar

Summary: There are many advantages to adding solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to the roofs of existing or new buildings (also called distributed solar.) With roof-top solar, the electricity is generated right where it is consumed, avoiding the losses associated with moving power over long distances. No additional land needs to be converted, as happens when large solar farms are built in the desert or on agricultural land. The financing, permitting and technology needed for rooftop solar installation are all simple and well-established.

In California, distributed solar produced about 4% of electricity generation in and about 23% of all solar generation in 2018 (Wikipedia). If solar cell efficiency and cost continue to decrease, some models predict that distributed solar could generate up to 60% of global electricity (Drawdown).

Distributed battery storage, financial incentives, and a smart electricity grid would all strengthen this option.

Goal: Add solar photovoltaic systems to all existing buildings (including residential, commercial, government, schools) where it is physically possible.

Existing Programs

  • PACE Financing for Energy, Efficiency & Resilience Property Upgrades
    Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing option for permanent energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. PACE financing is repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill.
  • Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)
    SCEIP offers PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing for permanent energy, water, wildfire safety, and seismic strengthening improvements through the property tax system. Financing is available for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, multifamily and certain non-profit projects.
  • Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF)
    The Portland Clean Energy Fund, also known as the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, places a 1% surcharge on the business license fee paid annually by the largest businesses doing business in Portland. The resultant revenue stream will be dedicated toward providing mitigation of a degrading climate to those Portland residents who are the most vulnerable ...