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Gov. signs Million Solar Roofs legislation

California's governor signed the million solar roofs legislation today. Supporters say the bill will energize residents to install solar power panels. Critics question the impact on California's electricity market. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

Arnold Schwarzenegger promises the bill will greatly increase California's solar capacity. The law expands a rebate program, increases the number of people who can sell solar generated electricity to utilities and requires builders to offer solar power as a new home option beginning in 2011. It enhances the $3 billion solar rebate program passed by California utility regulators this year.

Jim Bushnell is the Research Director of the University of California Energy Institute. He says spending billions on solar is a huge risk.

Bushnell: Even if these improvements do occur, we'll have spent all our money installing the old technology, the technology that exists today.

He says solar power's cost per kilowatt is two to three times higher than other forms of renewable power like wind. California hopes to generate three thousand megawatts of power from solar in a decade.

Erik Anderson KPBS News.

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