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SPR Throws down the gauntlet: Time for a live Obama solar summit to explain the lack of solar panels on the White House

LOS ANGELES., a solar blog and residential solar referral service, is offering to sit down with President Obama in a live television summit to discuss why solar panels have yet to be installed on the White House.

“We’ve tried to contact the White House about this issue, but for some reason they’ve ignored us and the two or three other people who’ve responded to our recent email campaign,” said spokesperson, Tor Valenza, a.k.a. “Solar Fred.”

Solar Fred said that he realized that the Obama Administration appears to be attracted to live, on-camera debates, and so decided that offering to sit down live and on camera might be the carrot that the Administration has been waiting for.

“Let me be clear: We’re not laying down any pre-conditions to this summit,” said Solar Fred. “All options are on the table. We’re happy to talk to Obama about health care too, but getting solar back on the White House is really what we’re after. In fact, the public option is cool with us, so Obama will get a lot farther talking to us about health care than with Orrin Hatch. That’s for sure. Plus, we’ll bring beer.”

For such a pro-renewable energy White House, solar advocates like Solar Fred have long wondered why the White House has not immediately made plans to put solar electric and solar hot water systems back on the White House. President Carter installed solar hot water panels on the White House in the 1970’s, and then President Reagan subsequently took them off. In 2003, the National Parks Service installed solar on a White House maintenance shed during George “W” Bush’s tenure, but Solar Fred said that solar on a maintenance shed sends a terrible message to  America.

“Solar on a maintenance shed? Give me a break,” said Solar Fred. “That’s like telling the world that solar is only good for charging up the batteries for electric drills and secret service walkie-talkies. Solar photovoltaic technology and solar hot water are mature and affordable technologies today. Solar PV is currently powering the Space Station. Hello? Not to mention millions of homes and businesses throughout the world. It also happens to be a dominant power source for the entire parliament building in Germany. How embarrassing is that?”

Fred explained that  solar advocates are only asking that Obama offset at least the residential portion of the White House’s energy needs.

“We know the Capitol building is filled with too many coal and oil lobbyists to allow solar symbols of clean, renewable energy to be right over their heads. Heck, that would send the wrong message to those lobbyists, like ‘I’m retiring’ or ‘Please feel free to send gobs of money to my opponent,’” said Solar Fred.

Putting solar on the White House, Fred said, will bring attention to many consumers about important solar policies, such as net metering, and local solar rebates, as well as new types of financing, such as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, All are contributing to making solar affordable to home and business owners with little or no upfront costs.

Fred also stated that if the President doesn’t sit down with him in the White House for a live solar summit, then he will be forced to hold the live summit without Obama at a local bar.

“It will be embarrassing for the President if he doesn’t show, I know,” admitted Fred. “That’s why I’m giving him a chance on his own terms. And believe me, it will be far easier to sit down with me and a few beers to talk about solar (and health care if he insists) than to just talk about health care with Orin Hatch. I don’t think Senator Hatch even drinks beer, and voters should know that.”

About is a solar blog and solar referral site founded in 2007 by Dan Hahn and Dave Llorens. Tor Valenza, aka “Solar Fred,” merged with in 2009, mainly due to their mutual love for finding simple, entertaining ways to educate consumers about solar technology, solar incentives, and solar financing. They also mutually enjoy beer.

Visit for more information.

Below, a little history of what happened to the solar panels that used to be on the roof of the White House.

Last modified: January 15, 2019

6 thoughts on “SPR Throws down the gauntlet: Time for a live Obama solar summit to explain the lack of solar panels on the White House

  1. Avatar for Jim Pierobon Jim Pierobon says:

    Forget about the roof of the White House. Target a ground-based array that is viewable from the public sidewalk on the South Lawn. That way, tourists can easily see what is making the White House greener.

  2. Avatar for martin martin says:

    1. If the “goal of doubling our renewable energy generation, including solar, wind and geothermal, in just 3 years,” then renewable energy should double at the point of use.
    As a result, renewable energy use should have increased by at least by ~66%?
    2. If the goal is to use ~20% of the renewable energy, then ~20% renewable energy should be used from renewable sources for the point of use?
    Net metering limit of 1 MW an interconnection system capacity limit 10 MW? Depending on system size … Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Standard: “20% by 2020 Technology Minimum: Solar: 0.4% by 2020″ ?
    3. But, if the goal is to used 100% renewable, then 100% renewable energy should be used the point of use?
    Maybe only a “wisdom among the mature” ?

  3. Avatar for martin martin says:

    “Which U.S. President reviewed the Inaugural Parade from a stand heated by solar power?”?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:


      We know there are panels on the White House grounds on a maintenance shed, but as this article says, that’s pretty insulting to this mature techology. We want it ON the White House as a symbol for America. The shed just doesn’t cut it.


  4. Avatar for PVAddict PVAddict says:

    Solar power, and beer? I think Obama would jump at the chance. In fact, I think the whole health care thing would already be decided if someone would actually think to bring pizza and beer.
    C’mon, Mr. President. If you think insulation is sexy, just wait til you have a few rows of crystalline modules powering your HD plasma…

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