According to the Solar Energy Industries Association President and Chief Executive, Rhone Resch, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is “the most solar-friendly ever,” and that they are aiming for solar efficiency, following Obama’s recent visit to Silicon Valley Walmart in Mountain View, California last month.
Obama’s Push For Solar Efficiency
Obama Solar Power has made it possible to account for new electric sources at nearly 30% in 2013, and stop dismissing renewable energy as just an afterthought. Obama’s Walmart trip was a part of his energy reform agenda to convert not only residences but more businesses as well as government buildings to utilise solar power and increase solar efficiency.
After almost three decades since former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Republican administration took down the solar panels that predecessor Jimmy Carter had installed onto the roof of the White House, the panels have been completely reinstalled on top of the residence of the country’s first African-American president.
Even Historic Buildings Can be upgraded to Use Solar Energy
While this has been considered a symbolic act to reinforce the so-called Obama Solar Power determination to introduce new initiatives in order to halt climate change, it cannot be underestimated as a firm move by the American President to lead the country to an increased use of green energy. This energy retrofitting is expected to improve the White House’s overall effort to increase solar efficiency.
According to Matt Lehrich, White House Spokesman, the installation demonstrates the reality that even historic buildings are capable of incorporating upgrades such as solar efficiency, a move that has been estimated to be self-liquidating over the next eight years in savings. The retrofit solar panels included speed fans and building controls which can generate up to 6.3 kilowatts in solar energy.
Even prior to Obama’s Silicon Valley Walmart trip last month, the President has been challenging American companies to expand their respective utilisation of solar energy and increase solar efficiency. Obama has been trying to leverage the power of the Oval Office to accomplish his administration’s goals which have stymied by a dominantly Republican Congress.
The White House-hosted “Champions of Change” solar summit in April this year that highlighted the success of solar energy deployment honoured ten “solar champions” committed to Obama Solar Power who have driven several policy changes for expansion of energy choices at the local level to generate employment and add new sources of clean energy and increase solar efficiency.
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The Solar Market Pathways Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched its Solar Market Pathways program at the cost of $15 million to enable expansion of solar portfolios of local, state and tribal governments. The program is set to fund developments of innovative projects and multiple annual plans to boost the growth of the American market for solar panels and other sources of renewable energy and increase solar efficiency.
A significant component of the Obama Solar Power campaign is the commitment to provide solar power for schools and buildings of local and state governments. Solar Market Pathways is calling on non-profits and the private sector to initiate, support, and sustain solar deployments and jobs to take advantage of solar technologies.
The Federal Government’s Commitment
The cost of solar panels has dramatically decreased by 60% since 2010 is a welcome complement to the Solar Market Pathways program’s $2.5 billion in loan guarantees included by the DOE for solar projects.
Although Obama’s Silicon Valley Walmart visit was marred by protesters who decried Walmart’s pay practices and other labour issues, the U.S. Federal government is committed to have 20% of energy consumption delivered by renewable sources to federal buildings by 2020 to increase solar efficiency.