Bright Week for Solar Energy around the World

Oct272009

This has been a very bright week indeed for solar. Not only did I witness the opening of Applied Materials’ Solar Technology Center—the world’s largest non-governmental solar energy research facility in Xi’an, China—but I was heartened to learn that halfway around the world, in the United States, solar energy was given quite the spotlight as well.

President Obama, during a stop at Florida Power and Light’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida, reaffirmed his commitment to a “new energy future” for America, which hinges significantly on the increased development of renewable energy sources like solar. I believe the president got it exactly right today as he spoke about the DeSoto Solar Center, one of the first, large utility-scale solar farms: “it’s about time.”

The time is now for us to develop large, utility-scale renewable energy projects in this country. Such projects would propel clean-tech economic development, resulting in new job creation, environmental benefits, better energy prices and energy independence now and in the long term.

President Obama also has the active support of several key members of Congress, including Senator John Kerry (D-MA), who sits on the Environment & Public Works Committee, which held a hearing today on the urgency of passing meaningful climate change legislation.

Dismissing critics’ claims that the House and Senate bills would lead to an overwhelming financial burden for the everyday consumer, Senator Kerry argued that the cost of inaction would be even “more expensive” in the long run.

I applaud both the president’s and Congress’ focus on this vital issue, and urge them to continue their efforts to push for a clean energy future at home, in Copenhagen and beyond. As Senator Kerry remarked at today’s hearing: “America’s leadership is on the line here.”

I, for one, have confidence in my country’s ability to lead.

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