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Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values

By: FN Laird

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jun 2001 | #117612 | ISBN: 0521782473
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NHBS Price: £71.99 $94/€82 approx

About this book

Energy policies that promote new technologies and energy sources are policies for the future. They influence the shape of emergent technological systems, and also condition our social, political and economic lives. Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values demonstrates the difficulties of deliberating such properties by providing a historical case study that analyses US renewable energy policy from the end of World War II through the energy crisis of the 1970s. The book illuminates the ways beliefs and values come to dominate official problem frames and get entrenched in institutions. In doing so it also explains why advocates of renewable energy have often faced ideological opposition, and why policy makers fail to take them seriously.

'A useful overview of the hopes and fears of the UK nuclear industry ... this is a fascinating account of US federal policy on renewable energy between 1945 and 1980, together with a well-argued analysis of general energy and technology policy advocacy using the solar industry as an example.' Mark Hammonds, The Journal of Energy Literature 'In this fascinating book, Frank Laird has achieved a rare combination of rich historical detail with a compelling and timely thesis about the interaction of ideas, institutions, and new technology.' David H. Guston, Rutgers University 'Frank Laird has produced a thoughtful and perceptive analysis of both solar energy policy and of the larger domain of technology policy. This work, I am sure, will become a standard in the field.' Dr. Patrick W. Hamlett, North Carolina State University


Preface; Acknowledgments; Note on sources and archival abbreviations; Introduction: solar energy, ideas and public policy; Part I. Before the Energy Crisis: 1. Framing the energy problem before the energy crisis; 2. Creating policy for the future; 3. Advocates construct solar technology; 4. Solar energy's incompatibility with official problem frames; Part II. During the Energy Crisis: 5. Problem frames during the energy crisis; 6. Solar advocacy in the crisis; 7. Limited access: solar advocates and energy policy frames; 8. Solar policy in crisis; 9. New technologies, old ideas and the dynamics of public policy; Notes; Index.

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