Some old enough to remember Jimmy Carter will remember that he added solar panels to the White House in his adminstration, but that Ronald Reagan took them off when he became president. President Obama ordered in 2010 that new solar panels be put back on, and now they are doing so, and they are American made panels.
A White House official confirmed to the Washington Post Thursday that installation had begun on fitting the President’s residence with solar panels, an effort the official said was “part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.” The panels will be American-made, though the official did not confirm which company they would be purchased from.Think Progress
Bill McKibben commented on this:
“Better late than never — in truth, no one should ever have taken down the panels Jimmy Carter put on the roof way back in 1979,” McKibben said. “But it’s very good to know that once again the country’s most powerful address will be drawing some of that power from the sun.”Think Progress
Surprisingly, the George W. Bush adminstration added some panels in 2002.
In 2002, multiple solar grids were installed on the White House grounds. The installation was done quietly, with far less fanfare than Carter’s, but the panels provided energy to several White House operations. According to a New York Times article from 2003, “a grid of 167 solar panels on the roof of a maintenance shed has been delivering electricity to the White House grounds. Another solar installation has been helping to provide hot water. Yet another has been keeping the water warm in the presidential pool.”Think Progress
So Barack Obama is the third president to do so, but I think it will be more extensive than the other two. The symbolism is important. I expect Republicans to boycott the sun in protest.