“Security Concerns” Keep White House Solar at Minimal Size

President Obama finally got around to getting some solar panels installed on the White House. I recall posting under the title “Why THE FUCK are there Still No Solar Panels on the White House” about a year ago.

Here is a Youtube video about the brand new solar panels on the White House roof:

I had to watch that video twice, since I couldn’t believe it the first time. But it is true. One guy in that video says that the size of the installation is that of an average American home. And the reason for that is that “security concerns” prevented them from installing a larger system.

I am not sure what those “security concerns” are supposed to be. As the video explains, they used 100% American solar panels, inverters, and workforce. Don’t they trust American solar panel makers? What risks are there anyway from installing solar panels? They are not putting any nuclear plants on the roof.

There is of course a large security risk associated with solar panels, but it materializes with too small sizes, not with too large ones. It’s called “climate change”. Obama may have heard of it. So if “security concerns” are relevant at all when deciding on the size of such an installation, they should of course lead to plastering every last square inch of the roof with solar panels, and most of the lawn around the building as well.

And then, while they’re at it, do all the walls as well and change the name to “Solar House”. That would be more like it.

I am also not sure what exactly the “average size” is. I looked around for some data, and according to this SEIA report, there was 0.792 GW installed last year in the American residential sector, and there were 140,000 installations in all sectors. I don’t know exactly how many of those were in the residential market, but let’s just call it 100,000, and we get an average size of about 8 kW.

The White House has 55,000 square feet of floor space, which is about 20 times the average residential home size of 2,700 square feet. So for the very least, the White House would need to have a solar installation twenty times of the average home. As it is, this is the equivalent of a home owner putting one single solar panel somewhere on the garage roof.

In comparison, the German Chancellor’s office (Bundeskanzleramt) has a 150 kW installation. That’s at least by a factor 10 more than what Obama has installed.

But well, I guess this is progress.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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