U.S. government to boost solar power development

The U.S. government on Thursday announced a series of measures to boost the development of solar energy as the jobs in the solar industry have increased faster than any other sector in the United States in recent years.

“Today, the Administration is launching the Capital Solar Challenge,” said the White House, a program to encourage federal agencies, military installations, and publicly-subsidized buildings in the Washington D.C. to install more solar panels on roofs, covered parking garages and open land.

On the same day, the Energy Department announced 15 million U.S. dollars to help communities develop multi-year solar plans to install affordable solar electricity for homes and businesses.

The Environmental Protection Agency also said on Thursday it planned to double the use of one-site renewable energy, including solar energy in a decade through its Green Power Partnership that started in 2001.

The White House said, the amount of solar power installed in the United States has increased nearly eleven fold, from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008 to an estimated 13 gigawatts at present. The solar industry now has employed nearly 143,000 workers in the United States, a growth of more than 50 percent since 2010.