Solar panels back on White House: US solar investment "set to explode". “Today, President Obama announced at a Walmart in California that 300 leading U.S. companies have taken the “solar pledge,” committing to install nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of new solar as part of their business plans.” “That’s a huge increase in the use of solar in the commercial sector.
For America’s solar energy industry, this is like getting a triple-A investment rating from Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s.
….Clearly, the President sees solar as a critical technology for addressing climate change, and his speech today created a direct link between our need to address climate change and the positive impact that solar can have on reducing pollution. Here’s a breakdown on the commitments announced today:
– 27 multi-family and low income builders – 30 homebuilders and home improvement leaders – 199 rural electrical co-ops in 27 states – Ten commercial companies, including Walmart, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Ikea, Kaiser Permanente, Clif Bar, Viridity Energy, Bonipak farms and Taylor Farms. – Four financial institutions, including Citi and Goldman Sachs, have pledged to invest in solar and renewable energy programs.
President Obama also highlighted several executive actions, including:
– The Department of Energy will expand a program that supports solar- sector job training at community colleges. The program will help 50,000 workers enter the industry.
– The General Services Administration will expand the federal government procurement of solar and will provide innovative financing for solar deployment.  This is the first step toward government-wide third party ownership as a mechanism for financing solar
….Finally, the President also announced that the White House has now gone “live” with the 6.3kW system on the White House.  After 6 years of lobbying the administration, we are thrilled that they have finalized the installation and that solar is once again back on the White House.”
Guardian: “Obama will – once again – bypass a deadlocked Congress and use his executive authority to announce $2bn funding for energy-saving measures at federal government buildings, as well as new financing and training programmes for solar installations.
The announcements, to be made on a trip to California, cap a climate-focused week at the White House, following the release of an authoritative report on the growing threat posed by heat waves, severe downpours and sea-level rise.
White House officials told a conference call with reporters the initiatives were intended to add momentum to the solar industry, which has seen rapid expansion over the last two years.
“We are going to be doing everything we can, with the tools that we have to move forward,” said Dan Utech, special assistant to the president on energy and climate change.
….Solar panels were originally installed at the White House under Jimmy Carter, but Ronald Reagan ordered them dismantled in 1986. Obama brought in the latest solar technology as a sign of his commitment to renewable energy.”