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Resources 2015, 4(1), 55-69;

Frameworks for Understanding and Promoting Solar Energy Technology Development

Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
Academic Editor: Witold-Roger Poganietz
Received: 22 October 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
Full-Text   |   PDF [203 KB, uploaded 11 February 2015]


In this paper, the contrasting theories of metabolic rift and ecological modernization theory (EMT) are applied to the same empirical phenomenon. Metabolic rift argues that the natural metabolic relationship between humans and nature has been fractured through modernization, industrialization and urbanization. EMT, in contrast, argues that societies in an advanced state of industrialization adopt ecologically benign production technologies and political policies, suggesting that modern societies could be on course to alleviate the ecological damage caused by capitalism. These two theories are fundamentally different in their assumptions about modern economies and technologies, yet both can be used as a theoretical lens to examine the phenomenon of solar energy technology adoption. Furthermore, both theories shed light on the increasing adoption of solar energy technologies in both “developing” and “developed” regions and the potential social conditions for promoting renewable energy technology adoption. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolic rift; ecological modernization theory; solar energy technology; renewable energy policy metabolic rift; ecological modernization theory; solar energy technology; renewable energy policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Schelly, C. Frameworks for Understanding and Promoting Solar Energy Technology Development. Resources 2015, 4, 55-69.

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