In 1979, President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House. What better way to use all that acreage, aside from patrolling security teams?
Unfortunately, President Ronald Reagan had the solar panels removed, for which environmental groups have been campaigning for their reinstallation. In October, 2010, President Barack Obama promised that new solar panels would be installed on the roof of the White House, and construction finally began in August of 2013. Considering that Washington, DC, is about 98% coal-powered, the White House solar panels are a single point of clean energy, in the district, perhaps an exclamation point.
President Obama has been pushing for environmental reforms, such as emissions reduction in the transportation and power production sectors, for which some have praise and other, well, not so much. One way to reduce emissions is by the adoption of renewable energy sources, such as solar-, wind-, and hydro-power, but the best way to incite the adoption of renewable energy sources could be to lead by example. The 6.3 kW solar panel installation on the roof of the White House is just such an example.
Aside from the installation of the White House solar panels, the residence has been retrofitted to improve energy efficiency. Now that the array is online, it is expected to pay for itself in energy savings, in about eight years. Considering that President Obama has allocated $2 billion for advancement in the solar energy industry, outfitting home office could be the best way to show how serious the administration is in generating this kind of energy, jobs, and industry.
Image © WhiteHouse.gov