Media Fails to Report Solar, Wind Successes from Obama’s Policies via Truthout

In the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama mentioned that electricity generation from wind and solar have doubled during his administration.
This was a bold claim but may also be an understatement. Wind power capacity in the United States has slightly more than doubled to 51.6 gigawatts (GW) in the last three years and nine months; however the electricity generation capacity of solar technologies is nearly four times as great as when the president took office, reaching 5.7 GW by July 2012.[1]
This is roughly the same capacity as five or six average-sized nuclear reactors from solar output, and 50 reactors worth of wind power. Another 4.6 GW of large-scale solar is under construction, as well as another 8.4 GW of wind power, which, when complete, will bring us to 10 GW of solar and 60GW of wind. [2]
And while we still get most of our electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear reactors, the experience of European nations and the work of scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have confirmed that such a transformation is both technologically feasible and economically manageable. All that is missing in many cases is the political will. [3]
However, pick up any US newspaper or click on the website of any mainstream online publication, and you would know none of this. Instead, when renewable energy is mentioned, we often hear about the bankruptcy of Solyndra, Abound Solar, or A123 Batteries and arguments over the merit of federal subsidies.
Building solar and wind: Obama’s policies
Obama cannot take credit for all of the progress made in renewables, as there are multiple forces at play. Falling prices, particularly for solar, and state-level renewable energy policies are likely the largest drivers.
However, both analysts outside the industry and solar industry leaders have been clear that the ability of the US solar industry to grow during the recession owes a great deal to the policies promoted by President Obama and the Democratic Party through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – the so-called “stimulus act.” These programs have also significantly benefited the wind industry.

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