Is Solar a More Viable Business now than it was in the 1970's?
In the 70s, there were two mini-booms for solar, and they were both triggered by oil embargoes in 1973 and 1979. Under the Carter administration, when oil prices were rising, there were incentives for solar. However, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) recognized that raising the price of oil was going to backfire since consumers or Americans would begin considering alternative energy, and as a result OPEC dropped the price of oil in 1980.
Back then, the world was not at peak oil, and therefore when oil prices dropped so did the demand for solar. However, the situation today is different than it was in the 1970's, and as Gary states, "We are now at peak oil." As a matter of fact, as stated by Eric Corey Freed, oil is expected to run out by 2040. We are now forced to turn to alternative energy sources not only because of the rising cost of oil or because of its environmental impact, but also because of the finiteness of this natural resource.