Bureaucracy could be the reason that it’s taken some three years for the White House to finally get its solar panel upgrades, or is it thirty-something years and could it be something else?
In 2010, a couple of years after the Obama campaign had mentioned its commitment to renewable energy, Obama pledged to install new solar panels on the roof of the White House. Some solar power companies jumped at the chance to be involved in such a project, even pledging to install a White House solar power system for free, but even these were turned down. The news that, this week, the White House has “begun installing American-made solar panels,” according to an unnamed official, comes three years down the road, or is it thirty-something?
This isn’t the first time that solar panels have been installed on the White House. US President Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels installed to provide hot water in 1979, but they were removed in 1989 by President Ronald Reagan. In a smaller project, in 2003, President George W. Bush had a smaller solar panel system installed to heat and filter the White House swimming pool.
Why is the White House so finicky when it comes to solar panels on the roof? After all, it’s not like they’d have been likely to wear out, even the first installation by Carter would still be going strong, if it was still installed, that is. Still, this new installation comes at the end of Obama’s second term in office, which I guess would be better late than never, but could be removed just as quickly by the next backwards administration.
The prices of even American-made solar panels have come down by some 97% since the 1970. Over 120,000 are currently employed in the solar industry and pure energy from the sun generates enough electricity to power over 1.3 million homes, and now the White House, for now.