In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the White House with great fanfare during the energy shortages that were occurring at the time. This action was designed to feature the new emerging technology of harvesting energy from the sun.
After Ronald Reagan was elected president, he had them removed a few years later and the push for energy independence essentially died. The oil and gas companies got their way. You see, there was no money to be made from renewable energy, but billions of dollars still awaited them with the continued production of fossil fuels.
China picked up the slack and now they provide up to 60% of the world's solar panels and up to 90% of some of the components. Had we stuck with Carter's plan and invested heavily in this new technology, we'd be energy independent and human beings' contribution to climate change could have been averted.