The White House staff and President Obama continue their support for the implementation of solar power throughout the country by announcing a “Solar Summit“.
Although it could be easily argued that the President could be doing more to promote solar energy, he has actually done more to promote solar than any previous administration. Of course, solar power was not economically viable during the very green administration of President Jimmy Carter. The decision is that much easier today as solar power makes complete sense economically.
This post comes by way of a recent DailyKos.com article. According to the author and many environmentalists, any significantly aggressive push for renewable energy playing a much larger role in a comprehensive energy plan will be denied. Apparently there is still too much power in the hands of the leaders of the fossil fuel industry. Their efforts to maintain the energy status quote is obviously a considerable force that influences many, congress being no exception.
The Daily Kos author astutely observed that while the Solar Summit’s objectives might seem like “small potatoes” at first, the large variety and number of different initiatives can actually make a significant impact over time. This idea is vital for the renewable energy movement in general. There is no one silver bullet. In order to eventually become a 100 percent clean energy society, we will have to utilize all forms of renewable energy at every single level.
Comparing the official whitehouse.gov’s press release with the Daily Kos article reveals a noteworthy omission. The Daily Kos article does not mention one of the bullet points in the original press release that calls for continued pursuit of natural gas. This makes good sense. After all, what does natural gas have to do with the deployment of solar power? Everyone realizes that we are still relying on fossil fuels for our energy needs at least in the short term. There’s no need to highlight this fact in an initiative that is supposed to be all about solar power.
Here’s a brief outline of goals of the Solar Summit –
- Funding Regional Solar Market Pathways: A 15 million dollar pledge to help reduce policy barriers for commercial solar.
- Providing Technical Assistance For Federally-Assisted Housing: A goal of 100 megawatts of renewable energy for subsidized housing by 2020.
- Launching an “On-site Renewables Challenge” as part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership: A continued push for on-site renewable energy production from schools, businesses, and local and state governments.
- Sharing Best Practices with a “Solar Deployment Playbook”: Helping businesses go solar.
- Advancing Solar by Partnering with the Rural Utilities Service: Helping rural communities adopt distributed solar.
- Leveraging Financing Tools to Deploy Solar: Providing $2.5 billion in loan guarantees.
- Launching a Capital Solar Challenge: Identifying locations for solar installations for federal and military agencies.
- Continuing to Support Solar Deployment at Military Installations: The Pentagon is committed to installing 3 gigawatts of renewable energy at military bases.
As you can see, the Solar Summit entails solar programs that are numerous and varied. While more can and will eventually be done, all of these initiatives will definitely add up to being a significant part of the solar solution.
If nothing else, these programs will give the solar revolution the increasing momentum that it needs.