President Barack Obama announced a major new climate change policy during a June 25 speech at Georgetown University, and clean technologies such as solar power play an important part.
Reducing carbon pollution is the main thrust of the policy. "A low-carbon, clean energy economy can be an engine of growth for decades to come," Obama said. "And I want America to build that engine."
One of the ways he plans to do that is by using more clean energy. "Over the past four years, we've doubled the electricity that we generate from zero-carbon wind and solar power," he said at Georgetown. "And that means jobs—jobs manufacturing the wind turbines that now generate enough electricity to power nearly 15 million homes; jobs installing the solar panels that now generate more than four times the power at less cost than just a few years ago.
"So the plan I'm announcing today will help us double again our energy from wind and sun. Today, I'm directing the Interior Department to greenlight enough private, renewable energy capacity on public lands to power more than 6 million homes by 2020. The Department of Defense—the biggest energy consumer in America—will install 3 gigawatts of renewable power on its bases, generating about the same amount of electricity each year as you'd get from burning 3 million tons of coal."
Overall, more than 13 gigawatts of renewable energy is slated to be online by 2025. Funding for clean energy programs would total $7.9 billion, an increase of 30%. Obama also mentioned that he wants to establish free trade efforts in clean technologies such as solar.
Obama also added that the federal government would increase its use of renewable energy from 7.5% of total energy consumed to 20% by 2020.
"As a president, as a father and as an American, I'm here to say, 'We need to act,'" Obama said.