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Solar Power

Innovation, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice

Dustin Mulvaney


List Price: 29.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/2/2019)


In this important new primer, Dustin Mulvaney makes a passionate case for the significance of solar power energy and offers a vision for a more sustainable and just solar industry for the future. The solar energy industry has grown immensely over the past several years and now provides up to a fifth of California’s power. But despite its deservedly green reputation, solar development and deployment may have social and environmental consequences, from poor factory labor standards to landscape impacts on wildlife.
Using a wide variety of case studies and examples that trace the life cycle of photovoltaics, Mulvaney expertly outlines the state of the solar industry, exploring the ongoing conflicts between ecological concerns and climate mitigation strategies, current trade disputes, and the fate of toxics in solar waste products. This exceptional overview will outline the industry’s current challenges and possible futures for students in environmental studies, energy policy, environmental sociology, and other aligned fields.

Praise For Solar Power: Innovation, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice

“Provides a valuable addition to the literature on the generation of electricity using solar panels. . . .  This is a useful text that addresses the growth and impact of solar power in a range of contexts.”


"Mulvaney’s approach to solar development provides a template for how this type of research could — and undoubtedly should — be applied to other types of electricity generation, especially those that reduce carbon emissions and for whom growth is anticipated. That said, to provide a primer that is aspirational, critical and meticulously researched is no easy task. Solar Power achieves just that."

— Nature Climate Change

"Would be useful for industry insiders and policy makers. . . . Solar Power is a well-researched, effective contribution to the literature on a just energy transition."

— Human Ecology

"The even keel of the tone and content of this text are necessary to “argue[s] that photovoltaics as ethical, green products are not subject to enough critical examination.” This book is that examination."

— Electronic Green Journal

"An excellent new book."

— Cultures of Energy Podcast, Rice University

University of California Press, 9780520288171, 344pp.

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

About the Author

Dustin Mulvaney is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at San José State University.