President Obama was first elected in 2008, and again in 2012. He has been a leading advocate of solar power since the beginning of his administration. As the first U.S. president to emphasize the need to reduce dependence on foreign oil through speeding the developing of solar, wind and other green energy initiatives, Obama solar policy marks a shift in the way the nation creates and uses energy.For Obama, solar energy is a major priority. Always one to set an example for the nation to follow, he ordered solar panels re-installed on the White House roof in 2013, showing his dedication toward solar power and solar energy.
His leadership on solar energy, however, has not been without controversy. Early in his administration, a solar power company in California that received substantial funding went under. Obama’s opponents seized on this failure as a scandal of epic proportions, ignoring the fact that a certain percentage of startups are likely to fail. Eventually, the loss of the company, Solyndra, faded from public memory.
Perhaps Obama’s greatest success in solar policy thus far has been the tax rebates offered to homeowners who install solar panels and other solar systems on their properties. This sparked a great increase in the percentage of homes with some solar power, with cities in Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico leading the way. Perhaps the most surprising of these leaders is New Jersey, which only has about 94 sunny days per year!
Larger solar energy policies have led to quick White House approval of solar and wind farms in the Western United States. In conjunction with this fast-tracking of large-scale solar installations, Obama has also ordered federal agencies to double their use of renewable energies like solar and wind by 2020.
The entrenched opposition toward the president’s solar policy can be seen in the nation’s gridlocked Congress, which is heavily lobbied by the coal and petrochemical industries. Progress has been slow, but it is occurring and will continue to gather momentum as people see the benefit in lower energy costs and a cleaner environment.
Because of Obama solar policy and efforts, a home or business converts to solar power every four minutes, taking pressure off the national grid. As more people go with solar energy, the cost of the technology goes down and production goes up. There is no doubt that this is a good trend.