Los Angeles voters want more solar power

By Paul Robinson - 04 May 2012 16:52:47 GMT
Los Angeles voters want more solar power

Los Angeles image via Shutterstock

The vast majority of Los Angeles residents are demanding more renewable energy, especially solar power, according to a new survey. Around 87 percent of voters want solar energy to generate more electricity and 79 percent welcome more wind power.

Around three out of four voters (76 percent) say the solar power should be generated from rooftop panels. Those are the key findings from the survey, conducted on behalf of the Vote Solar Initiative, which promotes solar energy and clean air in California.

The vast majority of voters, (81 percent) believe Los Angeles Department of Water and Power should increase production of solar energy to 1,200 megawatts, which is a tenth of the target set by Governor Jerry Brown for renewable energy in LA. This aim is backed by backers of all parties.

Susannah Churchill, Vote Solar's Southwestern Solar Advocate, says, "Sunny Los Angeles has enormous potential to lead the state in solar energy, and in recent months city leaders have done a commendable job of putting LA in a position to harness that homegrown renewable resource."

Bill Gallegos, Executive Director of top environmental justice organization, Communities for a Better Environment, says more solar power would boost the health of residents and prosperity of the city. It would also create more jobs in poorer areas that often fare badly from the fossil fuel sector.

A similar view is adopted by Evan Gillespie, from Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental body in America. Renewable energy can cut Los Angeles' reliance on dirty coal power from out of the state. It also makes environmental and economic sense, he adds.

LADWP accounts for 10 percent of the electricity demand in California. It is currently taking steps to increase the amount of solar power generated, which is currently just one percent.

In autumn, last year, it relaunched its Solar Incentive Program with the aim of generating 125 megawatts of energy for businesses and homes.

Rooftop solar

Rooftop solar image via Shutterstock

Just a few months ago, city councillors agreed a new LADWP initiative, CLEAN LA Solar, which could create another 150 megawatts from rooftop solar installations.

Both these initiatives could boost solar energy by five hundred percent, which is enough electricity for over 60,000 properties.

Most voters believe Los Angeles should create 1,200 megawatts of power from the sun, which is LADWP's percentage of the state goal of 12,000 megawatts of local clean power by 2020. If rooftop solar power generated 1,200 megawatts of electricity it could power 260,000 homes.

The survey, which involved 400 phone interviews with city voters, was carried out from 14-18 March. The rate of sampling error is around plus or minus five percent. The research was carried out by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

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Topics: Solar Energy / Renewable Energy