TUESDAY 09 FEBRUARY, 2010 |
U.S. Senator Pushes For 10 Million More Solar Rooftops
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
is a clean and economical way to help break the nation's dependence on
foreign oil, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more
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
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
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