Barack Obama plans to use financial incentives to help develop and disperse solar energy, calling on the Department of Energy to provide $1 billion for research projects as well as tax breaks for those who choose to use alternative energy in their homes.
At the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Obama spoke strongly on the topic. While many critics believe that moving away from carbon will increase the costs of energy, the president explained that renewable energy has become financially viable. Obama also recently announced plans to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 32% by the year 2030.
In addition to helping the planet, the president hopes to help homeowners. Those who want to make the switch to renewable energy will be able to without paying the cost upfront, and pay the installation fees back as part of their property taxes. The $1 billion dollars from the Department of Energy will primarily be used for this purpose, out of an existing DoE $10 billion fund for loan guarantees on alternative energy projects. The Blythe Mesa Solar Project, which will give 145,000 Californian homes access to solar energy, was approved by the Department of the Interior this week.
Although Republicans in Congress will not be pleased with these efforts, they are regulations that do not need to be approved by legislators. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular has publicly denounced governmental plans to reduce carbon emissions. He claims that it will hamper power plants and make electricity costs go up. McConnell, unsurprisingly, represents Kentucky, a state whose economy relies heavily on coal production.