Even though California Governor Brown thinks it is wise to "crush" the opposition against utility-scale solar power projects (does he realize that energy companies have plans for over a thousand square miles of wind and solar...that could require a lot of crushing!), I can say I do agree with his efforts to encourage more distributed generation. Sacramento set a goal of generating 12,000 megawatts of distributed renewable energy, such as rooftop solar, by 2020. There are a lot of local hurdles to the development of rooftop solar, such as sometimes arduous or expensive permitting processes at city halls across the State, as pointed out by this study by the Loma Prieta chapter of the Sierra Club. Many consumers may also not be aware of the savings and benefits of owning their own rooftop solar installation.
The California Energy Commission announced two new tools to advance distributed solar generation in the State. The first is a new calculator called "SAVE" (Solar Advantage Value Estimator) that allows homeowners to calculate the value of a solar (photovoltaic) system on a new or existing home, including the amount of energy savings. The second development is the CEC's support for Department of Energy's Sunshot Initiative, which seeks to achieve measurable improvements in market conditions for rooftop photovoltaic across the United States, with an emphasis on streamlined and standardized permitting and interconnection processes. The CEC is offering letters of endorsement for applications in California, which I believe is mostly geared toward municipalities, utility companies, or solar installation companies. You can contact John Nuffer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Keep up the rooftop solar revolution!