There's a reason California is the largest solar market in the country — I mean, aside from its abundance of sun. Namely, its regulators keep coming up with new ways to allow people to DIY-up their own distributed energy systems. Their latest brainstorm is a measure that allows renters to take advantage of the same solar incentives as people who own their own homes.

The program is called “virtual net metering,” and the way it works is that any renter can get together with others in their building to put solar on their rooftop. The electricity it produces is sold to the utility, which pays the renters directly. This should allow companies that, for example, already rent solar panels to homeowners to expand into a vast untapped market — namely everyone who has opted out of our nation's mortgage/real estate Ponzi scheme.