A new study by UCLA found that almost 1.5 million rooftops in Los Angeles could potentially double as solar power generators. According to a KCET story on the report, the rooftop solar panels in L.A. County could potentially produce up to 19,000 megawatts of electricity. If you, like me, have no idea how much electricity that is, the highest ever recorded electrical demand for Los Angeles was 6,177 megwatts.
While the report sounds incredibly promising, it does also mention some problems – mainly that each roof would have to be individually examined to account for shade or construction problems, and of course that currently there is no cost-effective way of storing the generated electricity for cloudy days – but the report is encouraging for environmentalists who’d rather build solar panels on existing infrastructure instead of one of the planned desert solar projects, which opponents claim would destroy even more of the fragile desert ecosystem.
Surely, anything of this magnitude is most likely going to take a while and probably run up against some resistance, but anything we can do to help ween ourselves off fossil fuels would benefit all of southern California – and maybe give us a few more clean days during the year.