Today, there is an all day event at the White House on solar power, both announcing a series of initiatives and honoring "solar champions" from around the nation (full press releases). These champions are representative of leaders in technological change, drivers for policy change, and people working 'in the grassroots' to get solar on the rooftops of disadvantaged citizens across the country. As to initiatives, they include several interesting ones:
- Department of Energy funding to support state, tribal, and local planning for tackling barriers to cost-competitive solar deployment. As solar technology prices continue to plunge, "soft" costs (planning, financing, inspection, sales, etc ...) are also falling -- but at a much slower rate which means that they are, with each passing day, a greater percentage of the total costs.
- Energy Department SunShot and NREL staff/technical support to assist in accelerating solar installations at Federally-assisted housing.
- EPA issuance of an "on-site renewables challenge" to prod businesses (Green Power partners) around the nation to put renewables (including solar) at their actual facilities rather than 'simply' buying clean energy credits.
- Energy Department coming issuance of a "Solar Deployment Playbook", which is aimed to ease internal 'soft costs' as to decision-making and understanding within business as to why and how to do solar installations.
- Capital Solar Challenge: The Administration is targeting solar power at Federal facilities in Washington, DC, as part of an effort "to lead by example".
- Military Solar Deployment: The White House is reaffirming the military commitment to solar deployments. Note that the WH press release emphasizes the Army. Last week, at the Sea-Air Space Symposium, Navy leaders mentioned that the Secretary of the Navy ordered far more aggressive action on putting solar up at Navy and Marine Corps facilities.
Many of the above are 'leading by example'. Since this is a live, online event, the White House is taking questions via twitter using #WHChamps and #ActOnClimate. My first question refers back to a painful issue:
Will @BarackObama announce #solar pv for @WhiteHouse roof today? Part of initiative to have more solar on Fed bldgs #WHChamps #ActOnCLimate
— A Siegel (@A_Siegel) April 17, 2014
Shouldn't the White House lead by example and put solar pv on the roof (next to Secret Service snipers?) as part of the Capital Solar Challenge?