Rooftop solar power installations are experiencing a boom this year in California, and the California based company Sungevity is experiencing its own boom. Sungevity announced the creation of a $50 million renewable energy tax equity fund created by Citigroup Inc. on August 15. The company, based in Oakland, California, has raised over $120 million since last year. Sungevity now operates in eight states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
Sungevity announced a partnership last spring with Sierra Club to expand rooftop solar in California’s Bay Area. Sierra Club is reaching out to its members in Northern and Central California about solar leasing through Sungevity. For every Sierra Club supporter who signs up with Sungevity, Sierra Club will receive $1,000 from Sungevity for its campaign to end U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.
Rooftop solar panels do more than just eliminate the need for traditional power sources. They help keep a building cooler, according to a report released by the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in America. Researchers used thermal imaging to determine that during the day a building’s ceiling was five degrees Fahrenheit cooler if it had solar panels, and at night the panels help keep the heat in, which reduces the need for heaters in the winter.
Rooftop solar power is likely to continue to experience a boom. Almost 80 percent of the world’s power needs could be met by renewable energy if the right policies are in place, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change predicts. The report is based on research conducted by over 120 researchers. Increasing renewable energy could decrease greenhouse gas emissions below 450 parts per million, which is the amount experts say needs to be achieved to avoid the worst effects of global warming.
“The IPCC brought together the most relevant and best available information to provide the world with this scientific assessment of the potential of renewable energy sources to mitigate climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC. “The Special Report can serve as a sound knowledge basis for policymakers to take on this major challenge of the 21st century.”
Photo: Flickr user, Muenzer