A Look at the Federal Government’s Clean Power Plan

Solar energy has revolutionized the way we source our power requirements, and many countries have recognized the significance of this free and renewable energy in terms of environmental preservation and financial gains.

Because of the advantages that homeowners and corporate establishments can get from solar power, the U.S. government aims to prioritize the use of this type of energy by offering monetary incentives. In line with this, U.S. President Barack Obama recently announced his campaign on climate change to provide benefits to individuals and companies that generate less carbon emissions through the Clean Power Plan.

The president spoke at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week to address users and supporters of fossil fuels. “For decades we’ve been told that it doesn’t make sense to switch to renewable energy. Today that’s no longer true,” Obama said in a news release. This supports an earlier statement by the White House, which disproved claims that setting up renewable energy systems is too expensive to warrant savings. “Since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent… In fact, distributed solar prices fell 10-20 percent in 2014 alone and currently 44 states have pricing structures that encourage increased penetration of distributed energy resources,” the White House said.

The landmark plan includes the following benefits:

  • Budget for projects by the Department of Energy related to solar energy will be increased by $1 billion.
  • The government will create measures to help homeowners improve energy efficiency in their places of residence, and to provide better financing options for shifting to clean energy. This includes an opportunity for homeowners to install a clean energy system without paying anything upfront. Instead, the homeowners may pay back the installation expenses through property taxes.
  • The creation of a special task force to “promote a clean energy future for all Americans” aims to help low-income homeowners to enjoy reductions in their power bill and to receive assistance from companies and the local government in improving their energy use.

The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. by 32 percent by 2030, based on reference emissions levels in 2005.

[Photo courtesy of Port of San Diego on Flickr]