The California Solar Initiative, a 10-year, $2.9 billion programme to increase the amount of installed solar capacity on rooftops in the state by 3,000 MW by 2017 has been launched by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The development marks the largest solar programme of its kind in the US and includes $2.9 billion in rebates over a 10-year period that will decline steadily.

The funding for the programme will come from electric and gas distribution customers of investor-owned utilities, and will go toward the installation of solar photovoltaics initially, with solar hot water heating and solar heating and cooling systems being added later this year.