Solar panels on the White House originally came about during the previous U.S. President Jimmy Carter´s presidency, 1977-1981. It was in 1979 that for the first time ever in White House history, Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on top of the symbolic building. That was 32 years ago. And unfortunately solar panels have not been replaced since.
Jimmy Carter was not re-elected when his first term ended in 1981. Instead Ronald Reagan stepped into office with a very different energy agenda. By 1986, Reagan quietly ordered the removal of all 32 White House solar panels. Under the radar, the Reagan administration dropped all research and funding being directed into renewable energy efforts. They also rid of tax breaks for renewable technologies. This made them once again too expensive, forcing the country to resource its energy needs elsewhere. The country was once again recommitted to fossil fuels.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), fossil fuels -coal, oil, and natural gas- currently provide more than 85% of all the energy needs for the U.S. In 2010 coal alone powered 45% of the country´s energy needs. The department also states "it is likely that our reliance on fossil fuels will increase over the next two decades." So it seems that unless the government can put together a strong agenda to invest into research and provide subsidies to jumpstart these renewable technologies, the struggle to emerge as leading energy resources will continue.
|Energy breakdown of US|
On June 20, the DOE’s Director of the Sun Shot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program Ramamoorthy Ramesh wrote a blog post about the effort.