New Federal Programs Good News for Growing Solar Energy

Media Contacts

Environment California

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Today President Obama announced several federal programs and policies to expand solar and make it easier for businesses, governments and homeowners to harness the power of the sun.

At Walmart in Mountain View, Ca, he announced that already 300 nonprofit, corporate, and public-sector organizations and institutions totaling 850 megawatts of solar power by 2020.

“We are cheering about President Obama’s announcement today; which recognizes that the sky’s the limit on solar energy,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment California. “The progress we’ve made should give us the confidence we need to take it to the next level. Being a leader in pollution-free solar energy means setting big goals and backing them up with good policies. ”

Solar power in the U.S. has grown 10-fold in the U.S. since 2008, thanks to a strong commitment from the Obama Administration in partnership with local and state officials.  Last year, every four minutes, another home or workplace went solar. The increase is also due to significant reductions in the cost of solar and a growing realization of solar energy’s environmental and economic benefits.   

“Solar power is growing much faster than many would have imagined, thanks in great part to local officials who have recognized the environmental and economic benefits,” said Kinman. “Because it is pollution-free and has no fuel costs, we should be shooting for the moon in tapping the energy from the sun.”

California is a shining example of solar power working for our planet and our communities, with more solar power installed than in any other state and over 47,000 Californians employed by the solar industry in 2013.

“California’s solar success is a direct result of the commitment by Governor Brown, the legislature, and local leaders working in partnership with the federal government to advance bold solar power goals,” said Dan Jacobson, Environment California’s Program Director, who was on hand for the President’s press conference. “We look forward to working with our leaders to ensure that homes, businesses, schools and farms all over the state are powered by clean energy from the sun.”

The policies announced today included more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. The commitments represent more than 850 megawatts of solar deployed – enough to power nearly 130,000 homes – as well as energy efficiency investments that will lower bills for more than 1 billion square feet of buildings. Additionally, the President announced new executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings; smarter appliances that will cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons – equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year – and will save businesses nearly $26 billion on their energy bills; and training programs at community colleges across the country that will assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020.


Environment California is a statewide, citizen-based advocacy organization dedicated to clean air, clean water, and open space. For more information, please visit