California's new $3.2 billion solar-power rebate package is starting to have an effect. According to a report in USA Today, thousands of homeowners and businesses have taken advantage of the program since its approval in January. Offering a combination of city and county rebates for photovoltaic electric-generation systems, the 11-year program helps position California as the world's third-biggest solar market, behind Germany and Japan. It is designed to spur growth and competition in the state's solar industry, reduce consumer prices for solar systems, and take pressure off tight supplies of conventional energy.
According to the report, California's goal is to create 3,000 megawatts of solar electricity by 2017 -- more than double the amount of solar installed worldwide last year, and 30 times the amount of solar power currently produced in the state.