Each year, it seems as if the temperatures in Southern California rise higher, and the summer season becomes even longer. In fact, a couple weeks ago Los Angeles registered highs in the 90s (extremely warm for November). Many scientists claim that increased temperatures are just the first signs of climate change and global warming will continue to get worse as time goes on.
On November 13, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs released a report titled “Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER)”. It suggests solar energy as a solution to Los Angeles County’s climate (and financial) woes, revealing how the considerable untapped solar power resources could lead to a boom in both renewable energy production and economic activity.
The researchers analyzed building data across Los Angeles to determine that, if even a fraction of the city’s buildings were equipped with solar panels, the subsequent installation work would create thousands of jobs and the resulting clean energy would put a major dent in carbon emissions. Two major wins for the county that everyone can agree on.
Another important point, LA’s undeveloped solar roofs (meaning those without solar panels installed) have the potential for a generating capacity of 22,984 megawatts. To give our readers an idea of just how much power that represents, the state of California currently has 3,761 megawatts of solar capacity currently installed and the entire United States has less than 10,000 megawatts.
Even if the county of Los Angeles were to realize just 5 percent of its solar potential, it could generate enough electricity for over 287,000 homes. In addition, the installation work for undertaking such a project would create over 29,000 new jobs.
“This study sends a clear message to Angelenos – the potential to invest in LA’s clean, renewable energy economy and build healthier communities is huge,” said Jorge Madrid of EDF in a press release.
By investing in more solar installations, Los Angeles and surrounding areas could help support economic activity in the region and put in place a good foundation for continued prosperity. The organization hopes the report can be used as a tool for elected officials in the area to enact real change through legislation in favor of solar energy and energy efficiency.