California could have 1 million buildings producing solar energy by 2018, with half of all new homes powered by the sun, administration officials said as they outlined ways to meet one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's more ambitious campaign promises.
The goal is to create a self-sustaining solar industry in 10 years, making the zero-pollution power source so commonplace and cheap that costly incentives are no longer necessary, said Joe Desmond, Schwarzenegger's deputy secretary of Energy.
The long-term aim is to generate 3,000 megawatts of power from the sun within 13 years, the equivalent of a dozen medium-size power plants.
To get there, solar manufacturers who move to California might be offered an investment credit. Or builders could be required to offer solar power as an option in subdivisions of 50 homes or more by 2010.
In addition, homeowners' income and property tax credits for solar energy usage, set to expire in 2006, might be extended, Desmond said.
Schwarzenegger backed a solar homes proposal that failed in the Legislature four months ago.