Alternative energy could easily take the backseat as the price of oil has plummeted and the economy has tanked, just at a time when it seemed that alternative energy was about to gain some traction. But here comes President Obama stimulus plan, in which the President proposes to create 460,000 jobs and to double, that’s right, double the amount of renewable energy produced in this country in the next three years. That would be a powerful statement especially considering the condition of the economy. The big question is in the details, where will these jobs be created, and where will this huge upsurge in renewable energy come from?
Obama may start at the White House. Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels at the White House–but the panels did not survive the change in administration in 1981. They were eventually transferred to Trinity College in Maine where they continued to work for 14 years. Here is Google’s atempt to track down the panels and repatriate one of the panels to Google’s office: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/01/back-to-energy-future.html The new president can make a powerful statement by installing new panels at the White House. We will watch this story with interest.