Solar Dividends

How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income For Everyone on Earth

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
152 Pages
Reviewed on 09/21/2019
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Author Biography

Robert Stayton is a physicist, author, teacher, programmer, inventor, technical writer, typesetter, bread baker, and worm farmer, with one art museum exhibit to his credit. He has degrees in physics and science communication, but not in politics or economics. His previous book Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power traced the human relationship with energy from the past to the present, and into the future with solar energy. It's one of the few books that explains energy so the average person can understand it. His first book, published in 2002 and entitled DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide, established him as a world expert in DocBook, the open-source software for computer-based publishing used by people and companies around the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Solar Dividends is a work of non-fiction focusing on energy production, penned by author Robert Stayton, which focuses on the concept of ‘How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income For Everyone on Earth’. Bringing economics and social issues together, the text explains the idea of diminishing poverty across the globe with the investment of providing the means to generate electricity from solar panels to every single person on the globe. In every country, solar energy would be converted and sold as power, and the dividends of those sales would be returned to each panel owner as a means of covering their basic incomes, whilst also enabling the world to change the current climate crisis.

As a huge supporter of movements to solve the climate crisis, I was immediately taken with author Robert Stayton’s suggestions and ideas. Although the scope of the project seems massive and perhaps unachievable at first, the evidence and organization of the text itself makes several compelling arguments about the possibilities of solar power and how a revolution of sorts could definitely be achieved in the near future. Stayton’s writing is confident and clear, with definitions and explanations that any reader can access and build upon their knowledge of how energy production, commerce, and social issues could come together in such a productive way. Overall, Solar Dividends is an essential read to open the audience’s mind to new possibilities about changing the fate of our ailing planet and is highly recommended for its hopeful and practical vision of a better tomorrow.

Donna Gielow McFarland

Solar Dividends: How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth is Robert Stayton's attempt to solve multiple major problems of the world by solving them together. And he has intriguing, innovative ideas. In a nutshell, he proposes building a solar array for every person on the planet, which, after the array is paid for, will generate a universal basic income for the recipient. The world's energy needs are met without the use of fossil fuels, the population of the world is raised out of poverty, and global warming is arrested in its tracks. The plan requires organizing solar cooperatives in every country and raising the cost of electricity to a level that reflects its value to civilization. In the first section of Solar Dividends, Stayton paints a picture of a utopian 2099 by telling an elaborate story about himself, born in 2050, and the society in which he lives. In the second section, Stayton goes into significant detail about how this future could actually be accomplished. The appendix includes an explanation of the numbers he used in his calculations.

I found Solar Dividends to be well thought out. Clearly, Stayton has run the numbers and thought through the intricacies of his plan. I also found Solar Dividends, with its emphasis on sharing the energy wealth that comes from the sun with all the inhabitants of the planet, to have some very attractive ideas. I'd sign up for it! Stayton makes an effective case for how important energy is to modern civilization, and also how the wealth that comes from energy is currently held by relatively few people. Solar Dividends is a timely book as current political debate deals with issues that include universal basic income and climate change. I'm a solar energy fan who has never studied economics, so I found Solar Dividends to be a complex read, but not too far over my head. And although I have questions and concerns about Stayton's proposal, I think we need much, much more of this type of outside-the-box thinking. Recommended for anyone who is interested in climate change, solar energy, basic income, and for anyone who would like to see answers to the world's problems.

Samantha Gregory

Solar Dividends: How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income For Everyone on Earth by Robert Stayton posits an idea where we can simultaneously help save the earth and use our natural resources to make a better future for ourselves. I think this book is very relevant today, given what is happening in the world. It is a touch idealistic, but something has to be done. It is well written and easy enough to understand. The author's view of the future is something we could all get behind and imagine happening if we change our course. It is a win/win situation, but while it would be a more economical approach, sadly the power companies holding on to other energy sources, for the time being, will prevent this from becoming a reality in the near future.

Robert Stayton has written an informative and interesting book in Solar Dividends. There are some helpful statistics and information in the book on what is happening now and where this could lead in the future. By harnessing the sun's energy and then using it to sustain ourselves, we could make a real change. I think the author has some great ideas and this book could be very marketable. It would be popular with anyone interested in environmental issues who wants to do more to help themselves. It is an encouraging book which will speak to the masses. I would definitely recommend it to all readers.