Symbolic Solar …

One of the best know stories of solar power — a true story — is how, in 1986, Ronald Reagan had the solar hot water panels taken off the White House roof. Panels that Jimmy Carter had had installed.  This was a symbolic culmination of the cut-off of tax incentives and drastic cut-backs in research support to solar that devastating America’s leading position in the solar industry.

Well, another symbolic act might occur in Washington come Fiscal Year 2008.


The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee just announced House passage of HR798, which had been developed in the committee.  From the Press Release,

 H.R. 798 directs the General Services Administration to install a photovoltaic (PV) system at the Energy Department’s headquarters that will convert solar energy into electricity. This project, known as Solar Net, consists of a 300 foot long, 130 foot high curtain of solar panels that convert energy from the sun into electricity.

This is a sign of the changing times with Democratic control of the Congress. The Committee Chair, James Oberstar (D-MN), “has long been an advocate for investing in fitting federal buildings with solar energy systems.”

“The Federal government should play a central role in encouraging innovation in developing new sources of energy. The Solar Net project is a reasonable, practical and simple alternative to traditional electricity sources,” said Rep. Oberstar. “It is only fitting that the Energy Department be at the cutting edge of utilizing and supporting applied research in alternative energy sources.”

First DOE, next the White House?



One response to “Symbolic Solar …

  1. It would be too much for a legislator to mandate that GSA undergo a process to reduce energy consumption – more particularly with an eye to save money. No – Congress is going to get specific because Congress knows best.

    You’re absolutely right. It is symbolic, because there are so many more effective (from both an energy and cost perspective) means of saving energy than a rooftop photovoltaic system.

    PLEASE NOTE: active website is Get Energy Smart! NOW!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s