Rooftop Solar Can Save the Desert from the DRECP

Distributed generation (DG), such as rooftop solar, can effectively generate at least the amount of energy (20,000 MW) that the Desert Renewable Energy Plan (DRECP) is calling for.

The difference: Distributed generation does not require wholesale destruction of the California desert. The DRECP, as currently drafted, does. Worse, the DRECP virtually ignores DG, and the DRECP document and its participating agencies seem to have no clue how much DG is currently being generated in California, nor how much potential DG has.

Yet, shockingly, DRECP principals such as the California Energy Commission continue to insist on assuming that the only way to meet our purported need for 20,000 MW of renewable energy is to build utility-scale energy projects that would transform the California into an industrial wasteland.

The Palm Springs Desert Sun has published an article and an editorial on this subject. The article, published today, points to a study that the Alliance for Desert Preservation has also cited in public comments to the DRECP: an estimate from UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation that Los Angeles County alone has more than 19,000 megawatts of rooftop solar potential.

The story goes on to quote Alliance for Desert Preservation member Neil Nadler, who told the Desert Sun that the state should promote “meaningful and compelling incentives” for individuals and businesses to go solar.

“If the incentives were there, you’d have literally hundreds if not thousands of people like me, who manage commercial properties, doing it overnight,” Nadler went on to say in the Desert Sun story.

Click here to read the article.

The paper’s editorial board apparently agrees with Neil Nadler. It published an editorial titled: “Our voice: Make rooftop solar power easy to obtain” that notes that our state already leads the nation in rooftop solar and points to strategies that can help that momentum grow significantly.

Click here to read the editorial.

The Alliance for Desert Preservation urges everyone who loves the California desert to tell the DRECP that it must seriously consider distributed generation before it lays waste to the California desert. Visit www.drecp.org before February 23 to file your opinions.