Neville Williams. Chasing the Sun: Solar Adventures Around the World. Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2005. Paperback, xv + 302 pp.
“This is a book for doers and dreamers,” writes the author in his Introduction. He has written what he calls a practical guide on “ solarizing” one’s life—“one solar photovoltaic-powered house at a time.” Actually, his book, as the subtitle suggests, is the eventful story of his own solar adventures in India and the Far East as representative of the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO), which he founded in 1997. It’s a work that considers the larger picture and demonstrates that, with a little initiative, much can be accomplished.
With its almost sinister obsession with fossil fuels, North America has largely turned its back on photovoltaics as an alternative energy source. Williams shows that poorer nations, which still rely mostly on kerosene and candles, have opened their doors to photoelectric energy.
This publications contains a few surprising facts, and perhaps the most surprising is that Shell, the world’s second-largest oil company, also happens to be the largest manufacturer of photovoltaic cells and the largest seller of solar energy—though their success is limited to the rest of the world, since Americans have been extraordinarily unresponsive.
Williams is a great story teller, and if his highly readable book doesn’t ignite or re-ignite the reader’s interest in solar electricity, nothing will.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.