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California boosts home solar energy
By Carmen Loren
The state of California (US) has approved a historic law that will require newly constructed houses to incorporate photovoltaic panels to provide electricity. In addition, all new homes must meet certain standards of thermal insulation, efficiency of appliances and increased capacity for the batteries that store the energy generated by the solar panels. According to experts in the field, this law will save energy, lower utility bills, keep homes comfortable and reduce pollution. The estimated cost to adapt these measures to a new building will be around $10,000, which would be offset by savings within a few years.
With this progressive legislation, California is once again a pioneer in US environmental issues. By contrast, Spain still clings to its controversial and unreasonable tax on home solar use (though the new government hopes to finally end this ridiculous ‘Sun Tax’). Spain, which has similar climatic conditions to those of California, has continued on its regressive path of not vigorously promoting renewable energies - even as they become profitable without the need for government incentives. It remains to be seen whether the new government will be able to implement energy policies that support a shift towards a greener present and future.