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U.S. Senator Pushes For 10 Million More Solar Rooftops


by Energy Matters

Sanders solar rooftops bill
U.S Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate's green jobs subcommittee, last week introduced a bill to encourage the installation of 10 million new rooftop solar power systems on homes and businesses over the next ten years.
The USA currently spends US$350 billion on oil imports and Senator Sanders says a dramatic expansion of solar power is a clean and economical way to help break the nation's dependence on foreign oil, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more green-collar jobs.
If the legislation is introduced, it would provide rebates covering up to half the cost of the 10 million solar power systems and 200,000  solar hot water systems, plus other incentives. Non-profit groups and state and local governments would be included in the initiative and rather than the systems provided encourage continued excessive energy use, the legislation would ensure that participating homeowners and businesses also receive information on incentives to improve energy efficiency.
Sanders referred to a recent report showing that solar power could provide 10 percent or more of each state's electricity needs. The Senator says that as solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than other energy sources, the legislation could create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next ten years in the solar industry.
Sanders has based his bill on other successful state programs promoting solar energy in New Jersey and California, where prices have fallen as the uptake of solar power has increased.
Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.
A copy of the bill can be viewed here (PDF).


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