Solar energy and the national energy dilemma. A model for policy evaluation

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This study presents solar-enhanced energy scenarios for the future together with the policy considerations they imply. The methodology known as system dynamics is employed, and the work reported here builds on an earlier model developed by Sasser. Policy-related implications include the following. First, after-tax costs of solar technology must be competitive with the costs for coal as well as those for oil and gas to achieve a substantial market penetration. Second, the collapse predicted by the original Sasser model used in this study can be postponed by solar technology alone but not avoided. If solar technology is allowed to supply nearly 100% of the energy needs of each energy consumption sector, then each sector is allowed 100 years more growth before the inevitable collapse occurs. Third, the amount of imported crude oil that can be displayed by solar energy in the next two decades of this century is modest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1982


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