Q&A w/ DANNY KENNEDY, ROOFTOP REVOLUTION: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy and the Planet from Dirty EnergyWritten on May 13th, 2013
Is there a revolution coming to your rooftop? While opponents claim solar is expensive, inefficient, and unreliable, in his book ROOFTOP REVOLUTION: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy And Our Planet From Dirty Energy, DANNY KENNEDY makes clear solar can save money, create jobs, and protect the environment if only politics and perception will get out of the way.
During the recent Presidential campaign, we heard a lot about Solyndra, the solar start-up that received a sizable government loan only to go belly up. Solar’s detractors claim the collapse of Solyndra proves solar is just a hippie pipe dream, but Danny Kennedy, says the truth is quite the opposite. Solyndra failed because it wasn’t able to compete in a red-hot industry, not because solar isn’t ready for prime time.
The industry employs 100,000 people in the United States, twice as many as in 2009 and twice the number of coal miners. In 2011, Warren Buffett invested $2 billion in a solar farm, and General Electric bought a start-up solar manufacturer, announcing, “By 2020 this is going to be at least a $1 billion product line.” Production of solar-generated electricity rose by 45% in the first three quarters of 2010, while electricity from natural gas rose only 1.6% and coal declined by 4.2%. Kennedy argues for a rooftop revolution to break the entrenched power of the coal, oil, nuclear, and natural gas industries and their progress-denying allies.
REBECCA SOLNIT is the author by my count of 10 books, and a co-author of at least 15 more. She is a journalist, essayist, environmentalist, historian, and art critic; a contributing editor to Harper's, a columnist for Orion, and a regular contributor to Tomdispatch.com and the Nation.
She appeals to a wide spectrum of readers. As evidence, RIVER OF SHADOWS: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West - her 2003 book on the history of photography, the dawn of the cinematic West, and the annihilation of space and time-won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, a prize from the Society for the History of Technology, and WIRED Magazine's Rave Award for Book of the Year.
Her latest books are STORMING THE GATES OF PARADISE: Landscapes for Politics; A PARADISE BUILT IN HELL: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster; and THE BATTLE OF THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF SEATTLE, with her brother David.