Solar power is a booming industry, thanks to technology that is more affordable than ever. Yet, only one percent of grid power in the United States comes from the sun. President Barack Obama seeks to change those figures with a unique plan to install solar panels on the rooftops of subsidized housing. By finding ways to make solar panels available to lower income Americans, the White House hopes to help cash-strapped citizens cut their electricity bills while combating climate change. It’s basically a one-two punch for the economy and the environment.
Announced July 7 in a press conference call, the White House plan seeks to install 300 megawatts of solar power in subsidized housing complexes by 2020. Housing authorities in 20 states will work with solar panel installers to make the hardware affordable to low-income residents, although the details of how that will happen remain unknown. The agencies will be charged with creating new financing plans that help get solar power into the hands, and onto the rooftops, of people who might not be able to afford it otherwise.
Over the past several years, solar panel installations have hit record highs, but lower income Americans aren’t often able to take advantage of the utility-slashing technology, even with the plummeting cost of solar panel technology which continues to fall even after breaking the price of fossil fuels. This solar panel rollout is just one prong of the Obama administration’s multifaceted environmental initiatives, launched in an effort to solidify the president’s climate change legacy. Although it’s uncertain how that will play out in the long term, this move is a smart way to use government-owned lands to offset the ever-climbing cost of climate change.
Via The Guardian