The subject of green energy was broached during Barack Obama’s second State of the Union address yesterday, when having focussed on the boring but obligatory subjects of the economy and jobs, he discussed solar shingles.
He was joined by the First Lady (and very pregnant) Michelle Obama and two entrepreneurs, who had taken a disused factory and with the a bit of governmental assistance, begun the manufacture of solar shingles.
Photovoltaic shingles or the more easily pronounceable ‘solar shingles’ are solar cells whose appearance is the same as conventional asphalt roofing shingles but behave like solar panels. They’ve been around a few years but gained media attention a couple of years back when the generation of an estimated $5 billion revenue was mentioned (by 2015), and a figure of $10 billion suggested by 2020, according to Dow Chemicals.
Cheaper than traditional solar panels, solar shingles are easier to install and are therefore being hailed as the superior option for clean and efficient alternative energy for the environmentally conscientious amongst us, which should really be all of us by now.
Due to the green revolution and fears over oil depletion, it is crucial that attention is paid to clean, green energy according to the President. Obama hailed it as “our generation’s Sputnik moment,” and went on to describe an urgent need for a level of research and development in the area of clean, sustainable energy that has not been seen in the United States “since the height of the Space Race.”
The two entrepreneurs – Gary and Robert Allen of Luma Resources (Rochester Hills) – suffered when the recession hit, but reinvented the company and now supply solar shingles throughout the US.
Solar has many applications and comes in many variations including photovoltaic paint which is becoming more efficient as an energy source, solar (or kyoto) ovens which have been used to great success in third world countries as they are smokeless and pollution free, solar hybrid lighting which beams natural daylight into hard to reach places inside buildings, and the more readily known solar panels (photovoltaic cells).
The President’s mention has raised public awareness and curiosity about solar shingles, but has also put a green focus on the President’s administration. This is another step forward in the President’s comprehensive plan to move to a renewable source of energy, and to put an end to the foreign oil crisis and fight impending climate change – according to www.barackobama.com, but only time will tell if his policies are exercises in cursory altruism in a bid to pacify the green masses or if his philosophies and policies are really green and sustainable.
Share your thoughts on Obama’s green stance on solar shingles by leaving a comment.
Read about other green alternatives like holistic medicine, raw food and vegetarian diets, or look at Obama’s visit to India, his trouble quitting cigarettes, his speech in Tucson and Michelle Obama’s campaign.