Skip to content

Oliver Carpenter

Oliver is the Curator of Infrastructure & Built Environment at the Science Museum.

President Jimmy Carter dedicating the solar-thermal panels on the roof of the White House, 20 June 1979.

We explore the history of the White House solar panels 40 years after their installation and on the anniversary of Jimmy Carter’s famous speech turning science into politics.

How about this for a sound business proposition? You spend £25 million excavating a 1‑kilometre tunnel and a cavern the size of the Royal Albert Hall deep inside a solid-rock mountain. At the same time you create an artificial reservoir with the capacity of 4000 Olympic swimming pools way up high on a barren Scottish mountainside. Then you install four giant turbines inside the mountain so that the water from the reservoir can flow through and generate electricity for the national […]