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.

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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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