California directive orders new buildings to have solar panels from 2023: ‘A future beyond fossil fuels’

‘The future we’re trying to build together is a future beyond fossil fuels’

Louise Hall
Thursday 12 August 2021 12:51 BST
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Energy regulators in California have voted to require most new buildings to require solar panels from the beginning of 2023 in a bold bid to slash fossil fuel emissions.

The California Energy Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday in favour of the proposition with all five members choosing to approve.

“The future we’re trying to build together is a future beyond fossil fuels,” David Hochschild, the chair of the CEC said ahead of the vote, according to The New York Times.

He added: “Big changes require everyone to play a role. We all have a role in building this future.”

The plan will require approval from the Building Standards Commission (BSC) before it can be officially approved. Consideration of the proposal is expected to take place in December.

Lindsay Buckley, a spokesperson for the CEC, told The Times that said that “while there is no guarantee” the BSC will approve the plan, it would be out of character for them to reject it.

The new proposal means newly built hotels, offices, medical offices and clinics, shops, restaurants, schools and other such spaces will be required to incorporate solar power into the structures.

Homes and businesses use nearly 70 per cent of California’s electricity and are responsible for a quarter of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

If the proposals are introduced, it could have the equivalent impact on the reduction of greenhouse gasses in the state as taking nearly 2.2 million cars off the road for a year.

“Buildings profoundly influence our health, environment and economy,” the lead commissioner on energy efficiency J Andrew McAllister said in a press release.

He added: “The 2022 Energy Code firmly pivots California’s buildings toward the clean, low-carbon technologies that are the bedrock on which our collective path forward will rest.

Mr McAllister stipulated that the new foundation “will help the state meet its critical long-term climate and carbon neutrality goals."

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