In 1979, then President Jimmy Carter installed solar hot water panels at the White House only to see them taken down seven years later. Last week, President Obama revived Carter’s vision by beginning the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the nation’s most prominent public building.
Since 1979, the price of panels has dropped some 97% and the technology has improved in equal measure. While the White House won’t divulge the name of the supplier for the panels or the cost of the project, they have confirmed that all the panels are American made. An unidentified White House official told the Washington Post that the project is “a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.”
Rhone Resch, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, applauded the move and situated it in an overall nationwide trend of solar energy expansion that is going strong.
In his statement to the SEIA Resch explained,
Installing solar panels on the First Family’s official residence, arguably the most famous building in America, underscores the growing popularity of solar energy nationwide. Today, more than 30 utility-scale, clean energy solar projects are under construction. […] Solar now employs nearly 120,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, most of which are small businesses spread across the United States, making solar one of the fastest growing industries in America. Part of this amazing growth is attributed to the fact that the average cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years.
This is a hugely symbolic moment for the solar industry. Installing solar panels on the most famous residence in America sends a message that solar is a clean, abundant and affordable energy option that can effectively address the climate and energy issues we face.
Sunetric is committed to spreading solar energy to the residents and businesses in Hawai’i as a critical way to reach our State’s clean energy goals and build a better, cleaner Hawai’i for the future.