"Gov. Jerry Brown wants a major chunk of California's renewable energy to come from urban rooftops and backyards, rather than just the massive solar and wind installations scattered around the outskirts of the state."
Could the move be to placate some in the environmental community still steaming over his decision to side with a 'big solar' producer in the Mojave desert in a lawsuit regarding the desert tortoise? [See Planetizen: The Tortoise vs. Solar Power].
Environmentalists have long advocated that the alternative to immense solar 'farms' is what in known as 'distributed generation', "usually involving smaller renewable-energy projects placed on and around local buildings, avoid many of the disadvantages of utility-scale installations."
In addition from sparing environmentally and/or culturally sensitive desert habitat the impacts of the large solar facilities, "distributed generation cuts out the expensive transmission infrastructure needed by desert and mountain-bound projects to deliver electricity to urban customers."
Thanks to Carolyn Chase