In the 1980s it seemed like solar energy might be on its way to becoming a popular technology. The development of solar power during this time was aided by the recent memory of oil price spikes in the late ’70s, and by federal tax incentives for encouraging solar power. However, these tax incentives expired in the mid-80s, and were not renewed by Congress. This, and the falling price of oil worked together to derail interest in developing solar power to the full extent possible. The story is a grim reminder of what can happen if the federal government’s commitment to encouraging green technology suddenly disappears or weakens.
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