BUSINESS

Rooftop solar could generate jobs

Los Angeles County could create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce global-warming-causing carbon emissions if solar-voltaic panels are installed on just 5% of available rooftops, says a just-issued report.

The study by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, released Wednesday, predicts that 29,000 installer jobs would open up. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 1.25 million tons, the equivalent of taking a quarter of a million cars off the roads each year.

Researchers came up with the data doing the Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER), which includes detailed maps of nine sub-regions that have the potential for cost-effective and efficient solar arrays on buildings. The "Solar Atlas" is to be used as a guide for local government officials, building owners and investors in planning to expand the use of renewable energy and to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The three zones with the best potential for expanding rooftop solar power are the San Fernando Valley, East Los Angeles and downtown Los Angeles, researchers said. All three areas have many large roofs and enjoy many sunny days, they said.

"Combined with California's innovative climate policies, the LASER Atlas can impact how the region invests new state resources to address pressing environmental challenges while providing job opportunities in its most impacted communities," said Colleen Callahan, deputy director of the Luskin Center for Innovation.

"This study sends a clear message to Angelenos: The potential to invest in L.A.'s clean, renewable energy economy and build healthier communities is huge," said Jorge Madrid of the Environmental Defense Fund.

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Twitter: @MarcLifsher

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