The White House is Stepping Out...
Earlier today, Secretary Chu announced on the Department of Energy's Energy Blog that "by the end of this spring, there will be solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House". Of course, we are all familiar with the infamous removal of the last solar water heater by then-President Reagan after it had been installed by President Carter 31 years ago.
This re-installation has been a long time coming. While it certainly will not impact the country's dependance on foreign sources of energy, or solve our environmental challenges - it is an important symbolic step. The U.S. government must play a leadership role as a consumer of renewable energy if this country hopes to play a leadership role in the global renewable energy industry - an industry that will drive much of the world's economic growth for the next century. How can we expect the average American household to support renewable energy if the number one consumer of energy in the country is not doing its part? And it is only by our collective support for the consumption of renewables in this country that we can hope to build a industry here in the United States that can lead the world for generations to come.
If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then perhaps today's announcement says that we have decided to lace up our sneakers and get into the race.