U.S. Could Get Ten Million Solar Roofs in Ten Years
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a Bill to the Senate that would help homeowners to slash the cost of installing solar panels. The 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2008 will offer rebates for up to half the cost of installing solar photovoltaic systems, and run for ten years. A wide range of people and organizations, including homeowners, businesses, non-profit organizations, state and local governments will be eligible to apply.
The Bill will be formally introduced when the Senate reconvenes on Monday following the 4th July recess. Co-sponsors come from across the political spectrum, including Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Ben Cardon (D-MD), Arlen Specter (R-PA), John Warner (R-VA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The proposal looks very similar to an initiative launched in San Francisco late last month that will provide rebates of $3,000 to $6,000 in the largest city-wide solar promotion scheme in the U.S.
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The past few weeks have been quite tumultuous for the solar energy industry. Firstly, the Senate voted to block progress on a bill designed to introduce $17.7 billion of tax breaks for the renewables industry. Shortly afterwards, to howls of protest from solar energy industry, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) introduced a twenty two month moratorium on new solar projects on public land, in order to properly assess their environmental credentials. A few days later, they decided to reverse the decision. Last week also brought news of the introduction of a Democrat-backed Bill to introduce a national feed-in tariff for renewable energy projects. Phew! things are moving on rapidly in the world of solar – I wonder what next week will bring?
Other Posts on the U.S. Senate and Renewable Energy Policy:
- House Democrats Introduce National Feed-in Tariff for Renewable Energy Projects
- BLM Applying NEPA to Large Scale Solar Energy on Public Lands
- How Solar Panels Could Power 90% of US Transportation
- Senate Blocks Renewable Energy Tax Credits Bill…Again – SF to go it Alone
- Senator Attacks Solar Energy Industry
- Senate Passes Renewable Energy Tax Credits. Why Am I Not More Excited?
Image Credit – Bkusler via Flickr under a Creative Commons License