Who Owns the Sun?: Preparing for the New Solar Economy

Daniel M. Berman, Author, John T. O'Connor, With, Ralph Nader, Foreword by Chelsea Green Publishing Company $24.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-930031-86-2
Environmental activists Berman and O'Connor offer a scathing explanation of why solar technology has played such an insignificant role in meeting America's energy needs. Politicians, utility companies and even many mainstream environmental groups come under attack for either their lack of leadership on this issue or for their downright hostility to solar possibilities. The authors argue convincingly that the impediment to widespread adoption of environmentally friendly energy sources is no longer technological but rather the fear that private utility companies' profit margins will suffer. Numerous examples of the ways in which renewable energy advances have been sabotaged by politicians and utilities are presented, as are a wide array of solutions. The most interesting solutions include public ownership of utilities, enlightened building codes favorable or at least neutral to solar technology, utility company buy-backs of excess electricity generated by homeowners, tax breaks for the installation of non-polluting sources of power, removal of massive governmental subsidies of fossil fuels and equalization of governmental research dollars for renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. Where such reforms are already in place, in the Netherlands and Israel, for example, solar energy is playing a very significant social role. This is a book likely to stir people to action. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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Paperback - 365 pages - 978-1-890132-08-8
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