The Alternative Energy Movement

After WWII the national movement for alternative forms of energy was born, due to a world-wide shortage of fossil fuel.  This movement tends to get excited when oil becomes more expensive and then dies down when it is cheap again.  During the 1970s and 1980s, Congress passed many laws to encourage the commercial and residential use of renewable energy.  These incentives were phased-out in the middle of the 1980s by the Reagan Administration.  President Reagan symbolically stripped the solar panels off of the White House that President Jimmy Carter previously installed.

California led the way in the 1990s in terms of legislation promoting Alternative Energy.  These reforms were passed to stimulate demand for alternative sources of energy through rebates.  The goal was to create and develop a self-sustaining market for solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources.

In 2001, the federal government passed legislation to enact a tax credit for Solar PV or wind-powered systems.  This set the stage for a national push towards energy independence by using renewable sources.