Mayor Welcomes and Challenges Solar Businesses to San Francisco
Gavin Newsom Delivers Opening Speech at Intersolar North America
on July 31, 2009
The Mayor speaks of numerous sustainability efforts that San Francisco has undertaken over the last few years, raising the bar of “environmental stewardship”. The city has established programs for everything from aggressive green standards for construction to alternative fuels in public transportation to a new wind farm off of the mouth of San Francisco Bay to capture energy from tidal flows. San Francisco was the first city to submit greenhouse gas emissions to a third party and as of September 2008 “had already rolled back the emissions 6% below 1990 levels”.
However, Newsom admits that San Francisco has been rather behind in solar energy in terms of per capita generation in the past. To change that, the municipal government introduced many new incentives, including a cash rebate for solar installation of up to $7,000, which matches the “Million Solar Roof” initiative. As a result, San Francisco’s per capita solar generation is now the highest in California. He hopes these incentives and further municipal investments exemplified by the “Sunset Reservoir” project, combined with the area’s concentration of world-class human capital and cleantech venture capital will help compensate for the city’s weather challenge and give the private solar sector a boost. He practically challenges them by stating that regardless how impressive recent progress in these areas may seem, “the bar is remarkably low”. He proudly announces that several heavy-weight Chinese solar companies – Suntech, Trina and Yingli, have opened facilities in San Francisco. He calls upon the industry for new contributions to expanding solar energy in the Bay Area and assures the audience that he is not afraid to take risks with new ideas, a point which hardly requires convincing.
Tags: Intersolar, San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, Sunset Reservoir, Fog Program, Fat Oil Grease, Million Solar Roof, Suntech, Yingli, Trina