executive, management Energy efforts

Throughout his presidency, Jimmy Carter propelled for enhanced use of renewable energy. He also put solar panels top top the White House!


Solar Architecture

Solar panels are regularly incorporated top top rooftops in solar architecture. These panels administer heat and also electricity to a model house in Tucson, Arizona.

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Photograph by Emory Kristof


The 1970s to be a time of change for the joined States’ energy policy. Throughout this time, the country was handling an energy dilemm that endangered the nation both environmentally and economically. The United says was greatly reliant on foreign oil, and also many american were emotion the effects of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, stand in heat for hrs to obtain gasoline and also paying significantly higher gas prices. See the toll this crisis was acquisition on the country, chairman Jimmy Carter came to be focused on enhancing America’s energy independence and reducing the environmental affect through greater use that renewable energy. It was a score Carter maintained throughout his presidency.

In his 1979 State of the Union address, Carter stated he envisioned that the United says would obtain 20 percent the its power from renewable sources by the year 2000. “I make a windy commitment in 1979 that by the year 2000 us would have actually at least 20 percent that the nation"s energy coming native renewable sources—from geothermal, or native the wind, or the sunshine,” the told the Sierra society in a recent interview. It to be this ambitious that moved Carter to happen legislation and also create a national power policy that supported greater usage of renewable resources and less dependency on oil.

As component of his efforts to wake up the breakthrough and fostering of renewable power resources, in 1977, Carter signed the department of power (DOE) company Act. Under the room of power Organization Act, the DOE was offered two main responsibilities: supporting nuclear-weapons research and also centralizing existing government programs focusing on energy. The research and breakthrough of novel energy technologies was at the head of the department’s mission, however the DOE was additionally responsible for energy policy regulation, and the collection and analysis of energy-related data.

In 1978, Carter introduced the National power Act, which established energy goals, especially reducing the nation’s suspended on oil and increasing the usage of renewable resources, such together solar energy. The act also mandated improved automotive mileage standards to certain vehicles became much more fuel-efficient. This to be later followed by the energy Security action of 1980, i beg your pardon loaned money come private market to look for innovative philosophies to renewable energy. Carter also included tax credits in both legislations as incentives to businesses and also homeowners to invest in renewable resources.

In addition to establishing these policy changes, Carter encouraged a publicly conversation top top renewable energy and also environmental protection. He—and those the inspired—called on american to cut ago on waste and also use energy resources much more efficiently. “Every act of energy conservation prefer this is more than just typical sense –I tell you it is an plot of patriotism,” he proclaimed in a 1979 address to the country on Energy and also National Goals.

Carter had actually a specific interest in arising solar energy on a bigger scale—large enough to store energy or put electricity into the grid. In 1977, Carter motivated solar study by introducing the Solar energy Research Institute, i beg your pardon still exists today and is referred to as the nationwide Renewable power Laboratory. Carter established May 3, 1978 as sun Day to celebrate the potential of solar energy and raise windy awareness of its possibilities. The complying with year, the government increased the funds accessible for solar energy research and development.

In June 1979, Carter make a symbolic gesture to show his administration’s commitment to renewable energy. He had thirty-two solar panels included to the roof the the White house to heat water in the building. The solar panels came under in 1986 during the presidency the Ronald Reagan.

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Today, Carter stays committed come renewable energy. He had actually 324 photovoltaic panels mounted at his presidential library in Atlanta, Georgia, providing about seven percent that the electrical power used in ~ the library. He additionally installed about 3,500 solar panels at his farm yard in Plains, Georgia come supply electrical energy to the farm and the neighboring community. According to Carter, the panels have the right to produce around 1.3 megawatts of electricity annually, i beg your pardon is same to that produced by burning 3,600 lots of coal. This panels meet half of the town’s power needs.

Carter told the Sierra Club, “I"ve been really proud of the job in Plains. Ns hope the my example as a former president will certainly encourage rather to pursue the very same route. And also I hope the the major power companies will adopt this as a commitment.”