Here's a crazy idea: apply the same incentives that have made Germany the world leader in rooftop solar power to a place that is actually sunny. Also, use the power generated from these panels to zero out the electricity costs of people in low-income housing, so the city has more money for education.

Those are the suggestions of a new study from the Los Angeles Business Council, which argues that just sticking solar panels on commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings could generate enough power for 30,000 homes. Extending the program to individual homeowners, the study’s authors estimate, could easily double that.

L.A.'s city council president Jan Perry is about to introduce a resolution to create a pilot Feed In Tariff program for the city, which means anyone generating power can sell it back to the local utility at an advantageous rate. This, coupled with up to $300 million in Federal incentives, should make scattering panels across Los Angeles an economically sound investment. Projected cost? As little as 19 cents a month for the average city household.

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