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Facts about Solar Power

  • In the early 16th century, Leonardo Da Vinci predicted that humanity would utilize the sun’s energy. (Solar Energy World)
  • Albert Einstein won his 1921 Nobel Prize for his experiments with solar energy and photovoltaics (specifically, his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect). (The Nobel Prize Foundation)
  • In 1931, Thomas Edison said “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” (Ecogeek)
  • Solar power was first used for television and communications satellites orbiting earth. All satellites today continue to use solar power. (California Solar Center)
  • Enough sunlight falls on the earth every hour to meet the world’s energy demands for an entire year. Obstacles such as cost, transmission availability, and lack of energy storage systems prevent solar technology from harnessing all of this available resource. (Solar Buzz)
  • Solar photovoltaic technologies have decreased in price every year since they were introduced into the market. Every solar panel purchased makes the next one cheaper, in contrast to fossil fuels (which increase in price as they become more scarce). (Solar Energy Industries Association)
  • The U.S. Department of Energy has developed the Solar America Initiative with the goal to make solar electricity cost-competitive with conventional grid electricity by 2015. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • An expanding solar energy market will create thousands of new jobs for electricians, construction workers, line workers, engineers, roofers and manufacturing positions. In 2008, about 12,000 new solar-related jobs were added to the solar industry workforce. (Solar Energy Industries Association)
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association predicts the solar industry will grow to support 440,000 permanent jobs by 2016. This is compared to 79,000 employees of the coal mining industry and 136,000 employees in oil and gas extraction. (Solar Energy Industries Association)