Photo via About My Planet
President Obama signed that infamous stimulus bill yesterday in Denver—and he marked the occasion by drawing attention to the measures that will promote clean and alternative energy. Obama has pledged to double alternative energy production before, but when he repeated his intentions in a speech at the signing, the words evolved from hopeful rhetoric to enacted law. If all goes according to plan, twice the amount of alternative energy will be produced in the United States by 2012. So what's the plan? Here's how Obama plans to retrofit America with alternative energy.
Obama signed the bill into law at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, a building that's over a hundred years old, yet has a roof lined with solar panels. Centuries old, yet ready to adapt to the most modern technology? Barack's not one to go light on a metaphor. Heavy handed as it is, it's not too inaccurate--and Obama believes that such alternative energy projects will play an integral role in 'rebuilding America.'
Obama's Plan for Alternative Energy
The bill dedicates more than $45 billion to tax breaks and spending on energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources, according to the NY Times.
Here's a rough breakdown of where the money will go:
A) $13 billion to make federal buildings and public housing more efficient, and to weatherize as many as one million homes
B) More than $10 billion to modernize the electricity grid and install "smart" meters in homes
C) $20 billion in $31 Billion In Alternative Energy Tax Credits Approved by Senate ...tax incentives for wind, solar, hydro and other renewable power sources.
D) $2 billion for research in electric car batteries
E) $500 million to help workers train for green jobs
Combined, it's predicted that the spending will create some 500,000 jobs.
The Alternative Energy Plan in Action
Blake Jones, who introduced Obama at the signing, is an ideal example of how the plan is intended to help out (happy coincidence he was on hand, there, right?). He's one of the co-owners (it's employee-owned; there are 27 total) of Namaste Solar Electric, a company that was flourishing before the recession. After the financial collapse hit, its business went into a nosedive, and layoffs seemed inevitable.
Now, because of the tax incentives for purchasing renewable energy (C), the widened market for people looking to make their homes and buildings more energy efficient (A), and a green-minded new workforce (E), Jones predicts a 20% growth for his company this year. And a 40% growth for 2010. Instead of having to fire staff, he told NPR, he's going to be hiring.
This is of course, a super-ideal, textbook case of how the stimulus should work—that's certainly why Obama invited Jones to attend and speak at the event. But if this projection proves even mildly accurate in coming months, and the myriad other solar and wind companies follow suit, the President may have a shot at hitting the goal he's established for alternative energy.