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Rooftop solar could see boost after new EPA rules on carbon cuts




Damon Corkern, who works for ECS Solar Energy Systems, Inc, installs a solar panel system on the roof of a home on April 16, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.
Damon Corkern, who works for ECS Solar Energy Systems, Inc, installs a solar panel system on the roof of a home on April 16, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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The Obama Administration this week outlined new rules to combat climate change, including cuts to carbon emissions from existing power plants. The goal is to reduce emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels before the year 2030.

This could mean big changes in the energy sector.

RELATED: FAQ: What do the EPA's new climate rules for existing power plants mean?

While much of the focus often goes to large-scale projects, such as wind and solar farms, some of the most promising changes could come at the local level, as more residents look to renewable sources.

"There's really a lot of movement on interconnecting solar installations to the grid and producing more and more of our energy close to home," Judith Lewis Mernit, reporter and contributing editor to High Country News, tells Take Two.

In California, rooftop solar has increased by more than 80 percent in the last year, says Mernit, due in large part to Chinese manufacturers flooding the market with cheap panels.

Mernit calls the new EPA rules a "technology-forcing regulation" that could spur the renewable energy sector.