White House Solar Project Doesn’t Stand Up to Light of Day

By:  Michael Tennant
05/16/2014
       
White House Solar Project Doesn’t Stand Up to Light of Day

The Obama administration is being very secretive about its installation of solar panels on the White House, perhaps because they're expensive and ineffective.

Topping off a week of energy and “climate change” initiatives, the Obama administration announced on May 9 that solar panels have been installed on the roof of the White House. It’s part of “a project that President Barack Obama hopes will send a signal that renewable energy is feasible and environmentally shrewd,” reported the Associated Press.

“Solar panels at the White House, I think, are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a White House video. “I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our clean energy future.”

The administration claims that the solar panels will generate 6.3 kilowatts of power — but only when the sun is shining, and then only when it is shining at the correct angle. According to the Daily Caller, this “only happens between 6 and 7 hours of the day.” That means the panels will produce about 44 kilowatt hours of electricity per day.

That may sound like a significant amount of energy, but consider this: According to the Energy Information Administration, the average American home consumes almost 30 kilowatt hours of electricity per day. “The White House declined to offer specifics on the building’s total energy consumption,” noted the AP, but the Daily Caller found that

One estimate from 2009, put White House electricity use at 15.5 kilowatt hours per square foot annually. The White House is 55,000 square feet, so it’s [sic] annual electricity use on a square-footage basis would be 852,500 kilowatt hours per year, or a little under one gigawatt hour.

National Climatic Data Center data shows that the Washington, D.C.[,] area gets about 2528 hours of sunshine per year. If the White House solar array produces 6.3 kilowatts, then it would generate 16,272 kilowatt hours of power a year — nearly 2 percent of its yearly energy needs.

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Photo: AP Images

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