Investing in clean energy -- things like wind and solar -- can go a long way in solving many of the big problems the world face today, whether it be war, climate change, job loss or chronic health problems.
Many of these problems are also tied to the concept of independence and I think that is why President Obama chose to talk about clean energy for his July 3rd weekly address.
The president knows that growing a strong clean energy sector in the U.S. will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce the use of the dirty fossil fuels that are at the root of so many problems in this world, whether it be climate change, asthma rates or war, to name just a few.
There is a worldwide race to the top of the clean energy sector and President Obama used the occasion of his weekly address to up the ante by announcing a $2 billion investment in two new massive solar energy projects.
"We're going to keep fighting to advance our recovery. And we're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America. That's one of the reasons why we're accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power - steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America," said the President in his weekly address.
"In fact I'm announcing that the Department of Energy is awarding nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments to two solar companies."
So what does this investment mean? According to President Obama this investment will see:
1. The plants, one producing electricity from solar power in Arizona and two that will manufacture solar panels in Colorado and Indiana, creating over 3,600 new construction jobs in the short term.
2. 70% of the products and components used in the construction of the Arizona plant will be manufactured in the USA.
3. Once completed the Arizona plant will be the first large-scale solar plant in the US.
4. The Arizona plant will create enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes.
5. The Indiana and Colorado manufacturing plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels every year.
Follow Kevin Grandia on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kgrandia