Los Angeles County could create nearly 29,000 jobs and reduce climate change–causing emissions by more than a million tons per year if just 5 percent of available rooftop space had solar panels, according to a report released Nov. 13 by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the Environmental Defense Fund.
According to the report, "Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER): Atlas of Investment Potential for LA County," capturing this 5 percent of solar capacity would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.25 million tons, equivalent to avoiding the emissions of more than 250,000 cars annually.
The Environmental Defense Fund commissioned the LASER Atlas, which was produced by the Luskin Center. The detailed maps that make up the atlas provide a tool to help local decision-makers and community members think strategically about investing new state funding.
The report maps the areas in each of nine Los Angeles County sub-regions where there is good potential for cost-effective solar energy and energy-efficiency improvements to local buildings. It also identifies where investment is needed the most. There is significant overlap between areas of strong physical potential, as defined by infrastructure, and disadvantaged areas, as identified by environmental health and socioeconomic data.
The LASER Atlas indicates that nearly 1.5 million buildings in Los Angeles County were built before energy-efficiency codes went into effect. This means that 80 percent of all buildings in the county have potential for cost-saving, energy-efficiency investments.
For more information, read the news release.