- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2014

President Obama on Thursday is set to issue what’s being billed as a challenge to private businesses — but will likely come off more as an executive dictate — to start using solar power rather than coal-based energy sources.

The Washington Post said the push is part of the White House’s Solar Summit and Mr. Obama will use the venue to exert influence and achieve the same solar goals that Congress has already dismissed or delayed.

Currently, solar accounts for about 1 percent of the country’s generation of electricity, U.S. Energy Information Administration statistics show.

“Now is the time for solar,” said Anya Schoolman, the executive director of the Community Power Network, in The Post report. “The costs are affordable, in reach of middle America and above. We know how to do it now, we know how to scale it, and we kind of just need people to let it go and encourage it.”

The Energy Department is kicking off a “Solar Market Pathways” program that costs about $15 million, The Post said. At the White House on Thursday, it’s expected more announced solar-related government packages and pushes will be unveiled.

Among them: the president’s call for commitments from the private sector, The Post reported.

“Without question, the Obama administration has been the most solar-friendly ever,” said Rhone Resch, president and chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Post reported.

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