President Barack Obama has unveiled a report on the state of solar energy in the U.S. outlining the efforts his administration has made in promoting solar technology development, deployment and job creation.
The president delivered remarks from a Walmart in Mountain View, Calif., in recognition of the commitment the company has made to deploying solar solar power at its U.S. locations. Obama noted that 300 private and public sector organizations have made similar commitments to deploy 850 MW of solar capacity.
Obama's speech is part of an ongoing effort to promote his climate change initiative, which was bolstered by the release of a government report cataloging the threats posed by climate change earlier this week. The president has made solar power an important part of his administration's effort to counteract the threats described.
According to the president, the U.S. solar sector has experienced significant progress, including:
- Steep declines in solar technology costs, particularly with regard to the price of solar panels;
- Research to decrease the price of solar, notably through the efforts of the SunShot Initiative; and
- Expansion of solar jobs, mostly due to the boom in installations.
The solar report details numerous existing programs and initiatives in place to promote growth of the U.S. solar sector by providing financial support for projects, offering job training, expanding solar into rural and low-income areas, deploying solar on public lands and supporting research and development programs, among others.
In one new development with potentially far reaching effects, the White House says the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service will ‘shortly clarify’ how certain investment rules – including real estate investment trusts – relate to renewable energy installations so as to promote investment in the sector.