The Million Solar Roofs Intiative (MSRI) is an initiative in the United States to install solar panels on roofs to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Established in 1997 as a national global climate change initiative, the MSRI is steadily gathering momentum toward its goal of seeing that 1,000,000 new solar energy systems are installed in the United States by 2010. MSRI is administered by the Department of Energy, and currently has approximately 50 partnerships across the country.
Making Solar Power Mainstream: The Million Solar Roofs Vision
California has some of the greatest potential in the world to benefit from solar power due to high levels of sunlight. They also have some of the greatest need. By reducing dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power, clean renewable energy such as solar power can protect California’s environment while diversifying energy resources and helping to lower prices. Solar power can also reduce strain on the electric grid by generating electricity where it is used and hedging against rate spikes by generating electricity when demand is the highest, on hot summer afternoons when air conditioners are running.
After celebrating one of the state’s biggest environmental victories with the passage and signing of Environment California-backed SB 1, the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, in 2006, Environment California is now celebrating the state’s progress in meeting this internationally significant new solar program. In 2007, the Million Solar Roofs Initiative’s first full year in operation, California saw more interest in solar power among California consumers than in all previous years in which the state has had a solar rebate program, 1996-2006, combined. California went from having 200 MW of installed solar power throughout the state at the end of 2006, to potentially adding more than this amount in 2007 alone.
New Legislation to Promote Solar Power
Environment California is sponsoring another important solar power bill in the California State Legislature. This bill, AB 1920 (Huffman), would remove unnecessary barriers to consumers interested in going solar by allowing consumers to install whatever sized solar system they want and by requiring utilities to purchase surplus power from the consumer at the end of each year.
- Million Solar Roofs, Environment California
- Million Solar Roofs Initiative, North Carolina Solar Centre