Why Didn’t the US Develop Solar Energy 36 Years Ago?

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMSolar technology was invented in the USA. In 1978 Dr Allan Hoffman presented President Jimmy Carter with a plan that could have let America obtain 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2000. So why didn’t the US develop solar energy 36 Years Ago?” 

Why Didn’t the US Develop Solar Energy 36 Years Ago?

JImmy Carter speaking about the potential of Solar Energy in 1978
Jimmy Carter speaking about the potential of Solar Energy in 1978

The simple answers are political. Ronald Reagan was elected. The price of oil fell, and with it the impetus to seek alternative energy sources.

By the time Barack Obama was elected, in 2008, Japan and Germany had taken the lead in developing solar and other renewables.

“I was ready to retire when  Obama was elected but I decided not to because we finally had a president who seemed to really understand the need for renewable energy and the need to move on to that path as quickly a possible,” says Hoffman.

President Jimmy Carter at his desk in the Oval Office in 1977 Courtesy Jimmy Carter Library via Children’s Bureau Centennial using Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

In the podcast above he gives an insider’s perspective on the circular route America has taken developing renewable energy.

Originally Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM Audio from Wed, August 20, 10:00 – 10:30 am. “

(Image at top of page: Rooftop solar panels – Courtesy h080, CC by SA, 2.0)

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