Recently, 55 environmental groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), urging them to act on the state’s clean energy and conservation goals.
Focusing on rooftop solar, the letter emphasizes that California will need three times as much as it had 2019 for the state to meet its clean energy goals. The state’s clean energy goals include the requirement that electric retail sales to end-use customers must be supplied 100% by renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by 2045.
“Clean energy projects will require more land, but it’s critical for the state to ensure a robust rooftop solar market to avoid destroying important habitat with unnecessary amounts of utility-scale renewable energy,” said Pamela Flick, California program director with Defenders of Wildlife. “We urge Gov. Newsom and the CPUC to maintain California’s rooftop market as an important part of our state’s efforts to protect biodiversity and promote smart climate solutions."
Low-impact, least-conflict solar development in urban areas presents great opportunities economically while also helping to ensure that California reaches its clean energy goals in a wildlife friendly and responsible manner. By identifying and developing projects on relatively low-impact areas like commercial rooftops, parking lots or other previously disturbed lands, rooftop solar helps avoid negative impacts to wildlife and high-quality habitats.