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A House in the SunModern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War$
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Daniel Barber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199394012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

 The World Solar Energy Project

 The World Solar Energy Project

(p.151) 6  The World Solar Energy Project
A House in the Sun

Daniel A. Barber

Oxford University Press

By the mid-1950s, oil was clearly essential to US economic growth. Improvements to solar technology led to its inclusion in technical assistance regimes looking to encourage economic development in the global south. A number of conferences and studies looked to solar house heating on these terms. There was even a memo proposing a World Solar Energy Project to address the failures of Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program in 1952. Maria Telkes again played a major role, getting grants from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations that encouraged development of solar technologies, often with the intent of leaving the oil of these regions available for extraction by US corporations. By the end of the decade, numerous associations were forming—spearheaded by UNESCO and other international non-governmental organizations—to explore alternative trajectories for economic development that were reliant on renewable rather than extractive resources. A number of solar houses resulted from these discussions.

Keywords:   Maria Telkes, Solar Energy, Modern Architecture, UNESCO, Dwight Eisenhower, Atoms for Peace, Developing Economies, Global South, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation

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