On Aug. 3, President Obama unveiled the final version of his eagerly anticipated Clean Power Plan (CPP), which aims to cut carbon emissions by power plants to 32 percent below 2005 levels in the next 15 years.

It’s an ambitious goal and one that, in my opinion, will face significant obstacles in Congress and the courts. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fought for—it is the kind of aspirational plan missing in the United States since President Kennedy challenged the nation in 1961 to land a man on the moon (and bring him safely back) within the decade (we did).

We stand with the president and will work as hard as we always have at Standard Solar to make his dream a reality—at least on the solar side of the equation.

The administration proposed three building blocks upon which the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-reduction plan would rest. And right there, in the text of the announcement, was the word “solar.” No, really, read it for yourself:

Building Block 3 — Substituting increased electricity generation from new zero- emitting renewable energy sources (like wind and solar) for reduced generation from existing coal-fired power plants.

OK, we’re lumped in together with wind as if we’re the same thing, but no matter: The President mentioned our industry by name. As a key to the future of electricity production in the United States. Huzzah!

I can hear you out there saying to yourself, “OK, Tony, but saying the name and committing to funding research and innovation are two totally different things. We bet it’s just another example of a politician name-checking solar and then turning around to take money from oil interests and not backing it up with real support.”

First of all, when did you get so cynical? Secondly, I admit my initial reaction was skepticism, too. After all, Obama has mentioned the solar industry in each of his first seven State of the Union addresses, and though the industry has grown exponentially during that time, it wasn’t directly tied to any of his policy prescriptions. In fact, the growth was instead tied to the investment tax credit (ITC), a Bush-era policy started in 2006 and extended in 2008, both before Obama even took office.

(As an aside: I’d love to see Obama throw the weight of his office behind a critical ITC extension coming up next year, but that’s the subject of another column at another time).

I looked deeper into the plan so you didn’t have to, and lookee here:

[The] EPA is creating a Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) to reward early investments in wind and solar generation, as well as demand-side energy efficiency programs implemented in low-income communities, that deliver results during 2020 and/or 2021.

I’ll be writing more extensively about those programs separately later, but there appears to be real money behind both—so the industry could see investments in solar jump considerably depending on how the program is structured. As a capitalist, who wouldn’t want some guaranteed cash in the till and to move the country in a historic direction as it pertains to electricity generation?

As you might imagine, we at Standard Solar—one of the earliest proponents of the solar industry—are thrilled to see President Obama push the critical issue of climate change and the effect solar (and other renewables) can have on it.

Now about that ITC extension……..