LAS VEGAS, NV, Aug. 26, 2015 - President Obama traveled to sunny Las Vegas on Monday to promote his record on renewables and announce more than $1 billion in Department of Energy (DOE) initiatives to fight climate change and accelerate investments in “clean” energy.
Speaking at the National Clean Energy Summit, Obama said that “no challenge poses a greater threat to our future than climate change” but emphasized that “we are deeply optimistic about American ingenuity” to solve the problem. “We think we can do good and do well at the same time,” he added.
The president used his speech to tout his record on renewables – noting that he pledged to double production of wind and solar by the end of his first term. “We met that goal ahead of schedule,” he said.
“Today, America is number one in wind power, generating three times as much wind energy as we did in 2008. There are now more than 500 wind manufacturers across 43 states supplying the wind industry -- an industry that supports more than 50,000 jobs and supplies enough energy to power 16 million homes.
“And if we keep investing in wind, rather than making shortsighted cuts or chasing mindless austerity, wind could provide as much as 35 percent of America’s electricity and supply renewable power in all 50 states by the year 2050,” Obama said.
“America generates 20 times as much solar power as we did in 2008. Last year was solar’s biggest year ever,” Obama said. “Prices fell by 10 percent; installations climbed by 30 percent…..And the world’s largest solar installation came online last year, with 9 million solar panels generating enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes with clean, renewable energy -- not in Germany, not in China, not in Saudi Arabia -- right here in the United States of America.”
In conjunction with his speech, DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) announced plans to make up to $1 billion in loan guarantees available to support commercial-scale distributed energy projects, such as rooftop solar with storage and smart grid technology.
In addition, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) program, DOE is awarding $24 million in funding for 11 high-performance solar power projects that could lower the cost and improve the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems. Together, these initiatives will spur innovation, ensure grid reliability and help ensure America’s low-carbon energy future, the department said. For additional information on all 11 MOSAIC projects, please click HERE. For additional information on the LPO announcement, please click HERE and HERE.
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