The stories imagine energy systems embedded with human systems, relationships, hopes and challenges: an extended power outage in a scalding Phoenix summer, sabotage at a solar plant, mother-daughter strife and fractious local politics in a solar-powered city and a budding romance between young people from two very different solar-powered desert communities. 

“The Weight of Light” was published by the Center for Science and the Imagination, in collaboration with the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Research Center and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. 

In the book’s introduction, editors Clark A. Miller and Joey Eschrich write, “Our goal is not to predict the future but to open it up as a design space. Our hope is that these stories, essays and artwork will stimulate and expand our imagination about what kinds of choices are possible in designing the future of solar-powered societies, and why those choices matter.”

"The Weight of Light" is designed to situate issues of equality, justice, political struggle, democratic process and urban form into the conversation about energy policy — along with a host of other considerations that don’t immediately spring to mind when we think about energy. 

“The Weight of Light” is free to download, read and share in several digital formats at the Center for Science and the Imagination website. 

Joey Eschrich

program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination