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The future matters, and never more than when advocates argue for their favored technologies. Conflicts over public policy for energy reflect broader conflicts over technology and the shape of future society because people advocate for systems that they believe will maintain or create the societies they desire. Between World War II and 1980, advocates for solar energy, now called renewable energy, sought to develop new energy technology systems to replace those running on fossil fuels. In particular, solar advocates critical of the broader society used energy policy as a political arena in which to contest the dominant values that undergirded conventional energy policy and, they believed, society more generally. They failed because they could not change the values that dominated energy policy and the rest of society. This historical analysis focuses on key debates over policy that took place within and between policy communities--collections of experts, activists, industry representatives, and government officials.