After nearly 25 years, solar panels and a solar hot water system will again appear on the White House roof.
In a powerful symbolic gesture by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the initiative late Monday Australia time.
“Today, we’re taking an important next step. As we move toward a clean energy economy, the White House will lead by example. I’m pleased to announce that, by the end of this spring, there will be solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House.”
Secretary Chu said the White House is a symbol of democracy and should also be a symbol of America’s commitment to a clean energy future.
The announcement is sure to please many solar energy supporters who have been increasingly calling for a solar power system installed directly on the White House for some time. With President Obama implementing this very visible stamp of approval for solar power, it will help encourage Americans to follow suit.
The solar power installation will occur next year, but it won’t be the first time solar power has been a part of the White House structure.
President Jimmy Carter ordered the installation of a solar hot water system on the White House roof in 1979. The system was removed in 1986 during the Reagan presidency and reappeared at Unity College. One of those collectors recently went on a road trip around the USA to help promote a challenge to President Barack Obama to put solar back on the White House.
A little known fact is that a 9kW solar power system was installed on a maintenance building on White House grounds in 2003 at the direction of George W Bush; but the system is said to be heavily shaded.