Fossil-Fuel Industry Cannot Stop US Renewable Energy

Fossil-Fuel Industry Cannot Stop US Renewable EnergyFossil-Fuel Industry Cannot Stop US Renewable Energy

US President Barack Obama has pledged to provide incentives to support investments in renewable energy, saying the industry will thrive despite opposition by Republicans and fossil-fuel suppliers.

The White House on Monday announced a $1 billion increase in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects, $24 million in new grants for solar research and measures to reduce costs for homeowners to install solar panels.

“We are going to make it even easier for individual homeowners to put solar panels on their roof with no upfront cost,” Obama said Monday night at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. “A lot of Americans are going solar and becoming more energy-efficient because they are cost-cutters,” Bloomberg reported.

After legislative efforts to limit US carbon emissions failed in Obama’s first term, he has made climate change a focus of his remaining time in office.

Among measures announced Monday, the Energy Department said it will add as much as $1 billion in loan authority to help promote innovation in so-called distributed energy projects such as rooftop solar panels, energy storage and smart-grid technology.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said federal support remains critical as the clean-energy industry seeks to establish a foothold.

Republicans have sought to trim federal funding for clean energy programs, accusing the Obama administration of wasting money. Moniz said the solar-energy industry would continue to expand, albeit at a slower pace, if Congress failed to extend tax credits for solar development beyond next year.

Obama said opponents of renewable energy, led by oil, coal and other fossil-fuel producers, feel threatened by the emerging industry and seek to make it more costly by “a massive lobbying effort” in Washington.

“That is not progress, that is not innovation,” he said.