June 29, 2012
Switching to Solar: What We Can Learn from Germany’s Success in Harnessing Clean Energy
By Bob Johnstone
Switching to Solar charts the dramatic rise of solar power from its off-grid origins in the 1970s to the fast-growing multibillion-dollar industry it is today. Here, for the first time, tech journalist Bob Johnstone tells the inspiring and optimistic story of how determined activists and enlightened visionaries in Germany developed a surprisingly simple and innovative policy mechanism that is now driving the solar boom. Switching to Solar explains why Germany leads the world in harnessing clean energy from the sun, and what valuable, cost-effective, and environmentally beneficial lessons we all can derive from this success.
"Progress on the climate and energy front will require doing everything better—more sensible transport, more efficient factories and homes, cleaner forms of today's 'dirty' energy sources, and much fuller use of inexhaustible energy from the sun. Bob Johnstone has the technical background, the reportorial curiosity and energy, and the descriptive skill to explain just how much is possible on this front, based on his reports from Germany, California, China, and elsewhere. Anyone who cares about the world's energy future will benefit from reading this book."
—James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic,
author, and former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter
"Bob Johnstone is surely right about the future importance of solar power, and he explores its prospects and potential in a compelling, accessible, and appealingly positive way. This book deserves to be widely read."
—Bill Emmott, international author and writer,
former editor of The Economist
"Bob Johnstone's book Switching to Solar is an extremely well-researched and well-written work guiding the reader from Becquerel's invention in 1839, Einstein's Nobel Prize in 1921, and Chapin's discovery at Bell Labs in 1953; through 1973, when people started to learn how to spell photovoltaic; to today, when the market capitalization of one of the solar company's listed on the US stock market is more than twice the market capitalization of the oil company Sunoco."
—Dr. Peter F. Varadi, cofounder of Solarex Corporation and 2004 recipient
of the European PV lndustry Association's Bonda Prize