The Washington Post reported that the White House is installing solar panels as part of an energy efficiency retrofit. There was no word yet of the equipment being installed – only that the panels would be ‘American-made.’
President Barack Obama has stressed the importance of renewable energy in his plan to combat the effects of climate change. The price of solar panels has dropped 97% since President Jimmy Carter installed a solar water heater at the White House in 1979, the Post reported. President Ronald Reagan had the system removed in 1986.
American City & County magazine reported that President George W. Bush installed solar panels on a White House maintenance building in 2003, described as including 167 panels provided by Evergreen Solar Inc.
The Obama administration announced its intention to install a solar power system and hot water heater in October 2010. At the time, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said the systems would be in place in the spring of 2011.
Despite the delay, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) was quick to applaud the new solar installation, both as a practical measure and for its symbolic value.
‘We applaud President Obama for, once again, leading by example,’ says SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch in a statement. ‘Installing solar panels on the First Family's official residence, arguably the most famous building in America, underscores the growing popularity of solar energy nationwide.’