Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Federal research says California solar mandate could increase housing prices

Federal research says California solar mandate could increase housing prices

California's move to require new homes in the state to have solar panels from 2020 will have a positive net impact on residential solar installations of almost 650 MW from 2020 through 2023.

While this requirement that all new homes be solar powered is likely to increase the cost of a new house purchase, experts estimate that the resulting lower energy bills will make it a significant net cost-savings over time for homeowners.

Last week, after rumors and speculation had all but confirmed it, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it would approve changes to the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards which would mandate all new residential buildings - including new homes, condos, and apartment buildings - be built with solar PV installations of some sort, or tap into a community solar project.

The installed power capacity of solar power increased from 939 megawatts to 2,978 megawatts year on year, representing a 217 percent rise, according to data released on Monday by Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA).

Members said they expect other states to follow suit in coming years.

"The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy", he added. In 2017, solar production became the sixth biggest electricity resource after natural gas, coal, hydroelectricity, wind and geothermal power.

Representatives of the construction, utility and solar industries all helped develop the new standard, and no industry groups spoke in opposition Wednesday. Some homes that are shaded by trees or taller buildings, or have roofs that are too small for panels, would be eligible for exceptions.

"Farmers are dealing with and living in nature regularly, and so they are thinking long-term money wise, but they are also thinking long-term for the environment its kind of a ideal balance for farmers to think solar", Beck said. With around 850 MW of large scale solar now under construction, and close to a further 1.2 GW having reached financial close and set to break ground, 2018 is shaping up as a record-breaking year for large scale solar. The move is a bold and visionary one, as stated by an associate at the Energy Commission.

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