On Friday, Oct. 23, President Barack Obama had a first-hand look at ground-breaking research that could help America become a renewable energy leader. The Commander-in-Chief was in Boston to participate in a fundraiser for Governor Deval Patrick, and took a tour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before delivering a speech before students, faculty and state legislators. He noted seeing windows that generate electricity by directing light to solar cells; light-weight, high-power batteries that's aren't built, but grown; viruses that can be engineered to create batteries; efficient lighting systems that uses nanotechnology; and a way for offshore wind power plants to deliver electricity even when there are no air currents.
During his address, Obama said it was imperative the nation move toward a clean energy future and become leaders in the worldwide race for renewable technology.
"There may be plenty of room for debate as to how we transition from fossil fuels to renewable fuels - we all understand there's no silver bullet to do it. There's going to be a lot of debate about how we move from an economy that's importing oil to one that's exporting clean energy technology; how we harness the innovative potential on display here at MIT to create millions of new jobs; and how we will lead the world to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. There are going to be all sorts of debates, both in the laboratory and on Capitol Hill. But there's no question that we must do all these things."
The President emphasized how the Recovery Act is making history's largest clean energy investment to both help end the recession and to lay a new foundation for a strong economy.
"The Recovery Act includes $80 billion to put tens of thousands of Americans to work developing new battery technologies for hybrid vehicles; modernizing the electric grid; making our homes and businesses more energy efficient; doubling our capacity to generate renewable electricity," Obama said. "These are creating private-sector jobs weatherizing homes; manufacturing cars and trucks; upgrading to smart electric meters; installing solar panels; assembling wind turbines; building new facilities and factories and laboratories all across America. And