Business Journal: Energy Programs In The Works

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Roseville City Council will vote this fall whether solar should be required on a percentage of future new homes. It’s a local twist on SB 1, a statewide measure for more solar housing, which was defeated by labor groups. In any event, it’s clear that solar has currency again.

Both PG&E and SMUD rebate programs for solar applicants … but demand far exceeds the funding. More commercial applications seem to be viable these days. Nella Oil, for example, is an Auburn company that will install solar at its service stations with a rebate.

SMUD produces 9 percent of its power from renewable sources right now … and wants that figure to be 20 percent by 2011. The utility is active on some surprising fronts. It’s investigating whether cow manure at the region’s dairies can be a source of energy … and they’ll soon survey restaurants, hotels, bakeries and others in Sacramento about their food waste. Perhaps that could be a new energy source. It’s a project called Leftovers to Lights. A company in Dixon already collects food waste from about 2,000 sources in San Francisco, creating compost purchased by 75 California vineyards.

These kinds of initiatives go in and out of fashion. They seem to be in vogue again.