Original Post From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com 

WASHINGTON –- President Barack Obama will visit a Walmart in Mountain View, California, on Friday, where he will be tout the administration’s push for solar power and energy efficiency.

The president will announce a Department of Energy solar instructor training network, which will assist with training programs at community colleges. The program’s goal is getting 50,000 additional workers to enter the solar industry by 2020, according to the White House.

Obama also will announce a goal of $2 billion in new spending on energy efficiency improvements to federal buildings over the next three years. The amount is in addition to the $2 billion for energy efficiency the administration announced in 2011.

The announcements follow Tuesday’s release of a major federal assessment of climate change impacts in the U.S.

The administration also said Friday that installation of electricity-generating solar panels on the White House is finally complete. Environmental groups had campaigned for Obama to replace solar panels that President Jimmy Carter had installed in 1979 that were removed during the Reagan administration. The White House said in October 2010 that it would install new panels, and work began in August.

The solar panels, said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich, demonstrate Obama’s “commitment to lead by example to increase the use of clean energy in the U.S.”

The panels are on the portion of the White House where the Obamas reside, will provide 6.3 kilowatts of solar generation. Lehrich said workers have made retrofits to the residence to improve energy efficiency, and the full project “is estimated to pay for itself in energy savings over the next eight years.”

The White House released a video promoting the new solar panels:

Great news!  The Board of Supervisors voted to implement Sonoma Clean Power. This program will focus on providing a cleaner power mix for Sonoma County customers. The board’s decision means that this service will be made available to about 100,000 customers in the unincorporated areas of the county.

This is REALLY BIG NEWS and we are very excited about it at Gaia Energy Systems!

In the coming months, cities will consider joining Sonoma Clean Power and thereby give business and residential customers in their jurisdictions the choice. Depending on how many cities vote “yes,” the number of customers enrolled will increase.

CPC’s Ann Hancock along with many business and community allies spoke before the board about the importance of this program and the opportunity for our community it presents. It was standing room only!

The board also approved taking steps to arrange needed financing to get Sonoma Clean Power up and running. First Community Bank will provide the financing.

The proposed amount of renewable energy for the power mix is initially to be 33% compared with PG&E’s 19%. According to the current schedule, an electric service provider will be selected by the end of July, and Sonoma Clean Power will begin serving customers in January 2014.

Based on bids received earlier this month from 11 interested private electricity providers, rates are projected to be between 1.8% less to 1.1% more than PG&E on the residential side. For mid-sized commercial customers, rates are estimated to be 3.1% less to .5% more.

The decision yesterday is a huge milestone! We’re several steps closer to implementing the most powerful solution under local control for significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Now the focus shifts to cities. We’ll need your help to let council members know that residents and businesses want a choice! Stay tuned!

Source:  ClimateProtectionCampaign.org

Solar Sonoma County’s PV Design & Installation Course

John Lloyd, Instructor

Course Description:

While the world’s economy is slowly recovering and improving, we don’t have to tell you that the green collar economy is booming. This course will educate you in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems and will prepare you to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam.  Upon successfully passing the open book test, you will receive a professional certificate, which can qualify you for immediate employment. Set your new career in motion! (Veteran’s encouraged to apply.)

Cost: $350 (Scholarships available for income qualified persons: contact Jason)

Register: Please click here to register

Location:

Sonoma Mountain Village, iHub

Sonoma State University Conference Room

1300 Valley House Dr. Rohnert Park, CA 94928

(Through double glass doors, far side of lounge, look for Solar Sonoma County sign next to door.)

Time:

9am-3pm

Bring your Own Lunch, light snacks and water will be provided.

2013 Sunday Class Sessions:

  • April 14, 21, 28

  • May 5, 12, 19, 26

  • June 2

Questions?

Contact: Jason Dunham

Jason@solarsonomacounty.org

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released $150 million in unused advanced energy manufacturing tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the U.S. Can your Sonoma County, Lake County, Mendocino County, or Marin County business benefit from this? Read more here…

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has unanimously approved a long-term procurement decision ordering Southern California Edison (SCE) to procure between 1,400 MW and 1,800 MW of energy resource capacity in the Los Angeles basin to meet long-term local capacity requirements by 2021. Read more…

When the California’s legislature reconvenes in early 2013, solar advocates may see a familiar item on the agenda. Earlier this month, State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced S.B.43, which would establish a framework for community solar projects.

As solar professionals from California and beyond may remember, Wolk’s previous community solar bill, S.B.843, failed at the last minute in September – despite extensive lobbying efforts from the solar sector, local governments and supporting organizations.  Read more…

WASHINGTON D.C. — While public support for climate change aid is growing, U.S. negotiators once again offered no binding agreements on emissions reductions at the most recent United Nations climate talks – a stance that is becoming all too familiar to nations that see U.S. participation as crucial. Meanwhile a divided Congress has held off regulating carbon emissions, and some experts doubt that the nation will mandate protection of the climate via legislative act in the foreseeable future. Given hesitancy at the top, it was an act of leadership when California introduced Assembly Bill 32, the mandate to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020. Read more…