Looks like the White House is tired of watching China and Europe smoke our asses in the fast-growing clean energy sector. This morning the AP reports President Obama “plans to install solar (TAN) panels atop the White House’s living quarters. The solar panels are to be installed by spring 2011, and will heat water for the first family and supply some electricity.”
Obviously, this little project won’t affect the economics of solar. But it does make a statement that toothless rhetoric against China has gotten us nowhere and we need to get capitalist about remaining global tech leaders.
Silicon Valley has a ton of capital invested in clean tech. We all know clean tech is our way to stop exporting our wealth to the Middle East, Venezuela, etc. (which cuts off a huge revenue stream for terrorists). We all know the real issue isn’t subsidies because the oil industry gets more handouts than nearly every welfare recipient in the world. So, we have much to gain insofar as wealth, jobs, and safety.
Solar is one of the best investment opportunities of a lifetime. Will future Presidents leave the solar panels on the White House? Will the US finally get serious about the future of energy? If we truly plan to create sustainable middle-class jobs, we may not be able to afford to wait any longer.