Breaking News: Smart Republican Discovered in California

This link sits at number one on the “Energy” community right now: The Republican mayor of Lancaster, a city of over 150.000 in California I had never heard of until today, wants to make solar on every residential roof mandatory with a city building standard.

That is of course a great idea. Every building needs to comply with standards to avoid fire, and help keep loss of life down if a fire occurs. So, exactly in the same way, every building should be required to comply with some minimal standards to avoid global fire (global warming), and keep loss of life down as the crisis unfolds. Solar should be one part of it, and good heat insulation another one.

The article quotes him like this:

Mayor Parris, a Republican, noted that Lancaster is “one of the most conservative Republican districts in the country. But Republicans are smart,” he said. “When you show them a solution, they will take it.”

My impression of American Republican politicians is that most of them are bought off by the fossil fuel industry and need to pretend not to understand global warming and the coming shift to renewable energy. So it is encouraging to see this counterexample.

He also wants to make Lancaster the “solar energy capital of the world”. The city already has some investments in the sector, having installed 27 MW on public spaces as schools and City Hall. No need to ask the mayor why there is no solar on his residence, in contrast to the president of the United States.

27 MW for 156.000 citizens works out to to about 173 watt per capita, which is actually pretty good. About one third of what the whole State of Bavaria had in 2011 (604).

Maybe it is time for an international version of the German “Solar Bundesliga” competition to settle these important questions in a way visible to anyone.


Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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