CNN’s penultimate Democratic debate focused on domestic policy issues with each candidate highlighting plans for the solar and renewables industry should they receive the nomination.
Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton focused on the solar industry during the debate, but the elected officials had very different answers for the scope and implementation of solar across the country.
According to the CNN Transcript from the debate, the solar conversation was kicked off when Clinton was asked for her current stance on fossil fuels and fracking. Subsequently, both candidates were invited to weigh in with their own plans.
Clinton wants to increase U.S. solar capacity by more than a half-a-billion solar panels by the end of her first term. She also wants to expand clean electricity sources, like wind power, to every home within 10 years.
While this plan is optimistic, Clinton does have a track record of supporting solar through past legislation. One piece of proposed law saw the former Secretary teaming up with Sanders for an amendment to House bill H.R.6, which would create job-training programs for solar workers.
Sanders plans to increase solar capacity at a smaller scale than Clinton, but mentioned his track record and commitment to solar through past legislation. This past legislation, Senate bill S.2901, was introduced in 2014 and aimed to install 10 million solar panels within a decade.
Sanders advocated for clean energy jobs in the solar, wind and geothermal industries, stating that the federal government can put millions to work weatherizing and retrofitting buildings for solar.
The fact that both candidates spoke about their concrete plans to roll out solar panels and bolster the industry is good news for tech builders counting on solar’s continued growth in the market.
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