News: Obama lays out plan to boost solar energy and energy efficiency

Here’s a breakdown of the plans Obama laid out on Friday for solar energy:

  • Train more solar industry workers.The Department of Energy will expand the Solar Instructor Training Network that has trained more than 22,000 people at nearly 400 community colleges since 2010. The aim is to train an additional 50,000 workers by 2020.
  • Streamline solar financing within the federal government. The General Services Administration is bringing together federal agencies to share procurement and project management resources to make it less expensive for agencies to develop solar energy projects.
  • Give clear guidance to the private sector. The Treasury Department and IRS will clarify investment rules related to renewable energy installations.

And here are the plans for energy efficiency:

  • Make federal buildings more efficient. Invest $2 billion in efficiency upgrades over the next three years, on top of $2 billion pledged in 2011.
  • Increase use of high-efficiency outdoor lighting. DOE will replace more than 500,000 outdoor lighting poles.
  • Set stronger efficiency standards for commercial appliances. DOE will soon unveil new standards for electric motors, which are widely used in manufacturing, and walk-in coolers and freezers, like those in supermarkets.
  • Strengthen building codes. The new code for commercial buildings will require 8.5 percent energy savings over the previous code.
  • Improve efficiency in affordable housing. Fannie Mae and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will expand the Green Preservation Plus program so it can help to preserve affordable housing through loans to invest in energy savings.

Read the full story. (Grist)