The United States decided to develop a nuclear power industry in part to justify the continued development of its nuclear weapons program. One result of this decision was the repression of solar energy technology. This paper examines the technical, economical, and political factors which have affected the use of solar energy tech- nology in the United States. I look at how solar and nuclear technologies have devel- oped in the light of competing theories about autonomous and dependent tech- nology. I also outline a strategy for the development of solar photovoltaic technology as an alternative to nuclear power plants.