Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Obama to put solar panels back on the White House

On June 20 1979, Jimmy Carter put 32 solar-thermal panels on the roof of the White House.

In 1986 Ronald Reagan took the panels down. It was said the roof was leaking and work needed to be done. But as Scientific American writes

By 1986, the Reagan administration had gutted the research and development budgets for renewable energy at the then-fledgling U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and eliminated tax breaks for the deployment of wind turbines and solar technologies—recommitting the nation to reliance on cheap but polluting fossil fuels, often from foreign suppliers.

Yesterday it was announced that President Obama is putting solar panels back on the White House roof.

More on this: Dot Earth hints at the influence of the Maldive President; Huffington Post suggests the decision has more import after climate change legislation died in the Senate; the New York Times' Green blog says it's part of a broader administration push to promote renewable energy; Grist says 'presidents often act first in symbols'; and Business Week says one of the criteria for the winner will be 'how well it showcases American technology, products and know-how'.

For Ashden Award winners and how solar works, see the database for case studies.

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