Last week US President Barack Obama announced he will put back solar panels on the White House next year. The first solar panels were installed by President Carter in the 1970s and removed by Reagan in 1986.
This made me wonder when l’Elysée, the residence of French Presidents will install solar panels as well. While discussing with a friend he told me that the Elysée isn’t the White House and that there were aesthetic concerns.
This is to me not a problem. Aesthetics don’t matter any more when there is massive unemployment, climate change and peak oil.
Besides, if more solar panels were installed in Paris, France and the entire world, no one would notice them anymore as they would blend in. It is high time we go full speed ahead on both solar thermal and photovoltaic like President Obama decided to do on his official residence.
If averting the triple crisis isn’t enough, it is estimated that the payback period is of only five years. This is what I call a sustainable investment.
On a sidenote, it seems President Obama is willing to get back to energy and climate issues and this despite the ferocious opposition he has encountered so far.
He also noted in a great interview given to Rolling Stone magazine that his country will achieve its modest goad of cutting greenhouse emissions by 17 percent by 2020 (not from 1990 levels, but from 2005 levels)
This is a modest start, but it is a start nonetheless…