“This legislation will activate our roofs, which are an under-utilised urban resource, to make our city more sustainable and our air cleaner,” said Weiner.
While smaller California cities have enacted mandatory solar heating regulations, San Francisco is the first large city to do so.
That’s the message behind a new San Francisco law effective in January 2017.
By that date, all new buildings must use solar energy technology.
The units called for in the new law can be either solar photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight directly into electrical energy, or solar thermal panels.
“In a dense, urban environment, we need to be smart and efficient about how we maximise the use of our space to achieve goals such as promoting renewable energy and improving our environment,” said Weiner.
Related: With climate change in the spotlight, Google makes ‘largest purchase’ of renewable energy. San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner, who introduced the proposal for mandatory solar panels, is also working on the bill.
Exposed roofs passively make room for solar panels, but the San Francisco ordinance makes the point more directly.
The adoption of solar power is getting an encouraging boost from cities and counties across the United States.