By Bob Johnstone, Prometheus Books, $19.00, 310 pages

10Energy, it is one of the most important topics that will challenge people around the world this coming century. Fossil fuels are not only starting to run low, but also effect the environment, people are starting to realize that throwing carbon dioxide and other chemicals into the air is changing the environment in ways that we cannot imagine. In this book Bob Johnstone explores the history of the solar energy movement, from its start in the 1970s, to 2009 and 2010. From when it was just a few solar panels on the top of someone’s garage, to acres of solar panels following the Sun to get its energy and turn it into electricity. Even though he claims that he will focus on Germany, Mr. Johnstone focuses most of his attention on the history of solar energy, and modern companies. Only one real section in the middle is on Germany and what the United States can learn from Germany’s success and failures in building a solar energy infrastructure. Mr. Johnstone does an excellent job bringing to life the people who have made solar energy possible, now it is our turn to make it viable.

Reviewed by Kevin Winter