Obama Focuses on Wind, Solar Energy

President-elect Barack Obama spent part of his Jan. 8 speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., discussing alternative energy, specifically doubling production over the next three years.

“We will modernize more than 75 [percent] of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills,” Obama said, according to his change.gov Web site. “In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.”

This is a significant follow-up to a main part of his campaign agenda and a sign that he’s not going to waste any time focusing on the environment.

In Tulsa, Okla., a solar products company promoted its own product in conjunction with Obama’s speech. Matt Wilkens and his wife, Lana, owners of EnergyWise Systems, installed six solar panels in a one kilowatt system on the south side of their roof. The couple announced that they have enjoyed savings of about 30 to 40 percent of their electrical usage.

And in Chicago, Obama’s home turf, one company took the opportunity to make its own green announcement – even though it had nothing to do with wind or solar energy. Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), added 50 Prius electric plug-ins and hybrids to its already-green fleet that tops 2,100. In its press release, the company stated that “plug-in electric vehicles and smart charging technology are enabled by building the Smart Grid of the future, an initiative ComEd is actively working on in collaboration with the Illinois Commerce Commission and other stakeholders.”

ComEd’s green fleet is one of many environmental initiatives that support Exelon 2020, a comprehensive strategy announced earlier this year by ComEd’s parent company. The goal of Exelon 2020 is to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emitted by its family of companies and customers.

More signs that brighter, and greener, times are ahead.

Image Credit: Richard Masoner at Flickr under a Creative Commons license