The Sun Betrayed

A Report on the Corporate Seizure of U.S. Solar Energy Development

By Ray Reece

The Sun Betrayed was published in 1979 by South End Press in Boston and then reprinted in 1998. Ray’s research was financed by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Washington, D.C. What is most remarkable about Ray’s book is how thirty years after it’s original publication, all of its predictions and observations have come true. It is still a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why we are in the energy mess that we are in today, because understanding this history is crucial to moving forward to a sustainable future.

Photo of Cover of The Sun Betrayed BookThe Sun Betrayed is a detailed behind-the-scenes history of the collusion between federal and corporate energy executives against small-scale solar energy development. It traces the evolution of the federal solar program, document the fraud and waste, and suggests a people’s program of grassroots solar energy development.

A history of the collusion between power elites against small-scale energy development, the book ends by profiling successful community projects using innovative solar technologies.

Solar is by its nature the most democratic and humane available energy source. But the solar promise is being subverted. The Sun Betrayed is the story of this subversion and of the means by which we can overcome its agents and develop solar power as it should be developed: by the people, massively, and in a decentralized and democratic fashion.

Back cover statement by Tom Hayden, SolarCal Council of California:

“Why hasn’t the U.S. government embarked on a crash program of renewable energy development aimed at energy independence for the American people? Why does solar energy continue to be treated as an exotic and expensive fuel of the distant future? Why have thousands of small entrepreneurs and solar inventors been deprived of government R&D support in favor of Westinghouse, Exxon Mobil, ARCO, et. al.? This book is a superb and much-needed investigation of the shoddy attempt by large corporate interests—in league with utilities and government officials—to control the sun. It’s also a primer for community self-defense.”