The Vatican (left) is going green from today with a new solar energy system on some roofs to help boost renewable use.

If Pope Benedict can have solar panels, are they something for the White House (right), after Barack Obama takes over as President on Jan. 20?

Former President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House during the oil crisis of the 1970s — his successor Ronald Reagan took them down when the roof was being repaired in 1986 (…a year when oil prices tumbled to below $10 a barrel).

When he got the panels installed, Carter said:  “a generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”

So should Obama, who spoke of a “planet in peril” in his victory speech and who says climate change will be a priority, start by bolting on a few solar panels at his new home?