It has been over twenty years since the White House roof had solar panels. President Carter had them installed in 1979 to heat water. President Obama said in 2010 that new solar panels would be added in 2011. They weren’t.
At the time of the announcement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said: “This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.”
President Carter didn’t seem to have too much problem getting solar panels on the White House decades ago. Today, we live in the Information Age, where technology is embraced and used in many facets of life. It seems it would be even easier in this era to get the project finished. Plus, solar power technology has advanced considerably, and is being put up in huge amounts in some countries.
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The White House receives about 1.5 million visitors each year. Solar panels could have been added at the beginning of the administration’s first year, to take advantage of the large number of visitors and set an example for the whole country. Energy efficiency and independence are issues that affect the national economy and our foreign policy.
At this point, it is too late to make excuses for the glaring absence of solar technology at the White House. Even George Bush had some solar presence at the White House, as The Atlantic reports: “The Bush administration has installed the first-ever solar electric system on the grounds of the White House. The National Park Service, which manages the White House complex, installed a nine kilowatt, rooftop solar electric or photovoltaic system, as well as two solar thermal systems that heat water used on the premises.”
Update: via one of our great readers/commenters:
Image Credit: Public Domain