Due to its sheer size and sunny climate, the City of Los Angeles has great potential to become a world leader in renewable energy resources. As the city currently wages a debate over funding for future renewable projects at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) just released a study this afternoon shedding light on a cost-effective approach to local solar energy generation through solar feed-in tariffs (FiT). We’re hopeful that the added dialogue will spur conversation and lead to a truly sustainable energy resolution.

There’s a link to the report after the jump.

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The report is a comprehensive study that investigates Los Angeles’ solar potential and proposes design guidelines for FiT programs in Los Angeles County. It was released as a partnership between the LABC and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, and as part of a working group of local businesses and public-sector institutions. According to the findings, a well-designed FiT program would produce considerable economic benefits while generating clean energy. It is estimated that such an undertaking would create 10,000 + private-sector jobs while contributing to the city’s ambitious renewable portfolio standard.

If the correct design guidelines are put in place, ratepayers will save money over the life of a ten-year FiT program as the cost of installing solar panels continues to fall and the price of fossil fuels rises,” said UCLA Professor J.R. DeShazo, who oversaw the study and serves as the Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. “Moreover, developing the country’s largest Feed-in Tariff would signal a long-term political commitment to greening Los Angeles that could be used as an incentive to attract clean-tech firms to our region and keep them here.

Project manager and lead researcher, Ryan Matulka notes, “Los Angeles has vast potential for solar energy. A well-designed feed-in tariff policy can transform our under-utilized rooftops and parking lots into economically-productive and environmentally-sound energy generation.

FiT programs have found success in other regions, where they help build sustainable economies while reaching renewable energy goals. Germany’s nationwide FiT program created the world’s largest solar market while generating over more than 100,000 jobs. The study findings show that Los Angeles is ripe for a similar undertaking. With slow times ahead, we personally feel there’s little room to argue about a program that has the potential to bring about a more sustainable economy.

For the full report click HERE.

+ Los Angeles Business Council

+ UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy