Date of Award

6-2016

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Michael Boswell

Abstract

As of March 2016, GRID Alternatives’ 179 solar electric system installations on low-income housing contributed 103 metric tons of carbon (MT CO2e) emissions reduction for the climate action plans’ Energy or Renewable Energy climate action measures that pertain to solar electric installations in the cities of: Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo County.

In 2007, the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) created a team of government agencies to design climate action plans (CAP) that met the emission reduction goals set out by AB 32 and the 2008 Climate Change Scoping Plan (Rincon Consultants, 2014, p. 1-2).

Each CAP outlines its greenhouse gas (GHG) baseline emissions and GHG emissions reduction targets in metric tons of carbon (MT CO2e) and identifies climate action measures to reach GHG emissions reduction targets. The climate action measure that pertains to Energy or Renewable Energy, specifically solar electric system installations, is examined in this study.

GRID Alternatives, a non-profit solar installer that implements its Solar Affordable Housing Program, was selected by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2008, to serve as the statewide program manager for the California Solar Initiative’s $108 million incentive program called the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program, which is the country's first dedicated solar rebate program for low-income families (GRID, 2016a, p. 2). In 2010, GRID Alternatives opened its Central Coast office in Atascadero to serve five central coast counties and tracks CO2 emission reductions for each installation.

My objective is to determine the impact that GRID Alternatives’ solar electric installations in the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo and in San Luis Obispo County have on their respective CAPs’ GHG emissions reduction targets for the Energy or Renewable Energy climate action measure that pertains to solar electric installations.

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