I don’t know if you remember this, but back in November of 2008, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced a plan to get 1,280 megawatts of the city’s power needs from solar sources by 2020. It’s only about 10-11% of the city’s power needs, but it’s a start, right? The plan has a few issues thus far – one of which is its dependence on LA getting volume discounts and tax credits for PV panels. Another is that the measure is contended as keeping the LA market for solar closed from giving taxpayers the best bargain on solar.
Needless to day, the measure was voted down by California voters – but by a very narrow margin of one percent (49.50% yes, 50.50% no). The measure was to place 400MW of solar power on city property, and technically the mayor didn’t need to put it to the public vote – but felt that such a large investment should be put to Los Angeles voters. CleanTechnica had David Libatique, LA’s associate director of energy quoted as saying “It would certainly come as a surprise that the public doesn’t think we should be investing in solar.” If you want to see election results, the City of LA’s Election Division published a PDF with results.
I’m interested in thoughts on this issue – what do you think is the right answer here? Are people afraid of the delerium tremens that people think might happen if we experience a withdrawal from foreign oil? Post in the comments!