executive Energy initiatives

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


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Solar Architecture

Solar panels are often incorporated ~ above rooftops in solar architecture. These panels provide heat and electricity to a model home in Tucson, Arizona.

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Photograph by Emory Kristof


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The 1970s were a time of transition for the united States’ energy policy. During this time, the nation was taking care of an energy situation that threatened the nation both environmentally and also economically. The United says was heavily reliant on foreign oil, and many americans were feeling the results of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, stand in line for hours to acquire gasoline and paying significantly higher gas prices. See the toy fee this crisis was acquisition on the country, president Jimmy Carter became focused on improving America’s energy independence and also reducing the environmental impact through higher use the renewable energy. It to be a goal Carter kept throughout his presidency.

In his 1979 State of the Union address, Carter claimed he envisioned the the United says would obtain 20 percent the its power from renewable sources by the year 2000. “I made a public commitment in 1979 that by the year 2000 we would have actually at least 20 percent the the nation"s power coming from renewable sources—from geothermal, or indigenous the wind, or the sunshine,” he told the Sierra club in a recent interview. It to be this ambitious that moved Carter to pass legislation and create a national energy policy that promoted greater use of renewable resources and also less dependence on oil.

As part of his initiatives to stimulate the advance and fostering of renewable power resources, in 1977, Carter signed the room of energy (DOE) company Act. Under the room of energy Organization Act, the DOE was offered two key responsibilities: sustaining nuclear-weapons research and centralizing existing government programs focusing on energy. The study and advancement of novel power technologies was at the head of the department’s mission, but the DOE was additionally responsible for energy policy regulation, and also the repertoire and analysis of energy-related data.

In 1978, Carter presented the National energy Act, which developed energy goals, especially reducing the nation’s suspended on oil and increasing the usage of renewable resources, such together solar energy. The act likewise mandated boosted automotive mileage requirements to certain vehicles became much more fuel-efficient. This to be later followed by the energy Security plot of 1980, i beg your pardon loaned money to private sector to seek innovative philosophies to renewable energy. Carter also included tax credits in both laws as incentives to businesses and homeowners to invest in renewable resources.

In addition to developing these policy changes, Carter motivated a publicly conversation on renewable energy and also environmental protection. He—and those that inspired—called on americans to cut earlier on waste and also use energy resources much more efficiently. “Every plot of energy conservation prefer this is much more than just common sense –I tell friend it is an act of patriotism,” he stated in a 1979 deal with to the nation on Energy and also National Goals.

Carter had a details interest in arising solar power on a bigger scale—large sufficient to store energy or put electrical energy into the grid. In 1977, Carter urged solar research by introducing the Solar power Research Institute, i beg your pardon still exist today and also is dubbed the national Renewable energy Laboratory. Carter established May 3, 1978 as sunlight Day to celebrate the potential of solar energy and raise windy awareness the its possibilities. The adhering to year, the federal government increased the funds accessible for solar energy research and development.

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

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

Carter said the Sierra Club, “I"ve been really proud that the job in Plains. I hope that my example as a previous president will certainly encourage others to seek the same route. And I hope the the major power companies will embrace this as a commitment.”