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Obama goes solar — to power only 22 light bulbs?! Report: ‘White House installed enough solar panels ‘to power twenty-two 100-watt bulbs for 20 hours each day’

Report Reprinted From:

[Update: Article reprint below includes revised figures reflecting the corrected number of light bulbs that could be powered by the solar panels.]

They’re Back! Solar Panels now atop the White House

The Reprinted Article Below Was Written by CCD (Climate Change Dispatch) Editor on .

Carter with his solar panels

Obama is officially the new Jimmy Carter of presidents

A solar panel array now adorns the roof of the White House and will produce an elephantine amount of solar power when the sun is actually shining: about 44 kilowatt hours of electricity a day. 

If 44 kilowatts hours sounds like a lot of energy, it isn’t. The average home consumes about 30 kilowatt hours (kWh) of power each day. The average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,837 kWh according to the EIA for 2012 or 30 kWh per day average.

Slightly less than the 44 kilowatt hours per day that will be produced by the new solar panels adorning the White House. According to data from TradeWind Energy, one 100-watt light bulb running for 20 hours will use two kilowatt-hours of electricity (100 watts x 20 hours = 2,000 watt-hours = 2 kWh).

In other words, the White House installed enough solar panels to power twenty-two 100-watt light bulbs for 20 hours each day. And if you’ve ever been inside the White House, or seen it from a distance, you’ll notice it’s lit up like a klieg light. Excerpted from

Citing security and other concerns, the White House won’t say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost. But the panels are expected to generate 6.3 kilowatts of solar power whenever the sun shines, the White House said, improving the building’s energy efficiency.


The project required technicians to first drill down to the concrete on the White House roof, then use epoxy glue and threaded rods to install a gridded subassembly onto which the solar panels could be secured. The solar components, converters and the labor to install the panels were all domestic, the White House said, declining to name any of the companies involved in the project.

If the average American knew how much this cost the taxpayer, they’d realize this is not cost-effective at all. Which is specifically why the White House refuses to release the numbers.

Obama seeks to use his personal example to spur American families and businesses to do more to reduce reliance on foreign energy and cut emissions blamed for global warming.

The new solar array, not seen since the Jimmy Carter Administration, and later, George W. Bush (who used it to power a maintenance building and heat some pool water), will be able to power 22 100-watt bulbs for 20 hours (unless it rains, snows, or is a cloudy day), far less than his two predecessors.

“Being at the White House, we do have some security concerns. We can’t cover the entire roof, although that would be good from an energy savings standpoint,” said James Doherty, the White House usher.

The only way this would be energy efficient is if Obama covered the entire roof, and all the acres of land surrounding the White House, and threw in a couple of wind turbines. But that would be plain ugly for one of the most prestigious presidential residences.

But not ugly enough for Americans to spend vast amounts of money to cover their roofs with solar panels and other so-called clean technology.


End article reprint

Related Links: 

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James Lovelock concedes: ‘A lot of investment in green technology has been a giant scam, if well intentioned’

Bjorn Lomborg: ‘The rich world generates just 0.8% of its energy from solar and wind, far from meeting even minimal demand’

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Report: Obama’s solar energy revolution failing to take hold – ‘Since 2009, only 20 solar power plants are on track to being built out of 365 applications to build such plants on federal lands, reports the Los Angeles Times. Only three large-scale facilities have gone online — one in Nevada and two in California. Furthermore, the first federal lands auction for solar developers last fall failed to attract a single bid.’