California: Proposition 39 to boost renewables

Propositions to legalize Marijuana and allow gay marriage have been sharing headlines with President Obama’s reelection in the days following this week’s decisive election result. However, a proposal in California to close a taxation loophole and deliver approximately $500 million annual funding to energy efficiency and renewable energy development in the state has gone largely unnoticed.

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."