- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced $120 million in funding for solar power projects across the country, continuing its policy of using taxpayer dollars to fund the nation’s transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

Mr. Obama will take executive actions, the White House said, to provide money for a host of solar projects facilitated by the Department of Energy. The department soon will launch the second round of its $30 million technology-to-market funding opportunity, designed to spur advancement in technology to help reduce the cost of solar systems.

The Energy Department also will pour $20 million into research to advance photovoltaic cell and module performance, along with additional money to find ways to cut installation time for solar panel projects on homes.

The administration is putting about $8 million into a new initiative to increase access to solar power for Americans living in rural areas, and a number of other steps.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden will speak about the administration’s solar investments at a climate-change conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The administration’s broader climate policy centers on moving the U.S. away from fossil fuels and toward wind and solar power. Mr. Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency released the key piece of that policy, the Clean Power Plan, over the summer.

The proposal limits carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, essentially guaranteeing the nation will have to incorporate more renewable power to meet its electricity needs.

“Today’s actions, build on the robust set of executive actions and private sector commitments President Obama announced last month to accelerate America’s transition to cleaner sources of energy, to promote energy efficiency, to drive innovation, and ensure a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan,” the White House said in a statement. “All told, this funding will drive the development of affordable clean energy throughout the country.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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