Here are 35 interesting Solar Energy Facts.
1-5 Solar Energy Facts
1. In 1917, Alexander Graham Bell predicted that “the unchecked burning of fossil fuels would have a sort of greenhouse effect” on the planet, and argued for the use of alternative energy sources such as solar energy. – Source
2. Because, 30 years after the meltdown, radiation makes farming and forestry too dangerous in the area, Ukraine is working on plans to turn the Chernobyl zone into a massive solar farm. – Source
3. Tesla runs an entire island on solar power. The island of Ta’u in American Samoa used to consume 300 gallons of diesel fuel daily to run generators, the fuel that had to be bought and shipped, but Tesla’s solar panels and power packs provide 6 megawatt-hours of energy storage. – Source
4. A Japanese company is proposing to build solar power cells on the Moon to provide clean energy to Earth. – Source
5. A city is currently being built in Dubai that will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. – Source
6-10 Solar Energy Facts
6. CSP-Stirling is known to have the highest efficiency of all solar technologies (around 30%, compared to solar photovoltaic’s approximately 15%). – Source
7. There’s an open source solar energy collector that can be built from scrap for well under $100, using basic tools and skills. – Source
8. The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is powered by solar energy. – Source
9. Bavaria, a state in Germany, has more installed solar capacity than in the entire United States. – Source
10. “Mr. Trash Wheel” is a solar-powered device in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that has removed 160 tons of garbage from the harbor in just under a year. – Source
11-15 Solar Energy Facts
11. The sun produces enough energy in one second to meet the needs of the entire planet for 500 000 years. – Source
12. In 1913 the first practical thermal solar ‘power plant’ was built in Egypt, it generated power using polished steel to focus the sunlight. Unfortunately, WW1 broke out and the power plant was abandoned due to the conflict in the area and oil became a much more attractive energy source. – Source
13. The father of Solar Energy, Giacomo Luigi Ciamician, was nominated 9 times for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry but never won. He knew coal was limited and stated: ” life and civilization will continue as long as the sun shines!” – Source
14. Nuclear generated electricity, by far, kills fewer humans per megawatt than any other source, including solar and hydro. – Source
15. There are plans to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes that is being funded by donations and crowdsourcing. It’s planned to be 5x the size of the original, include a museum, cultural center, and be completely powered by solar energy. – Source
16-20 Solar Energy Facts
16. Solar panels are more efficient than plants at converting light into energy. – Source
17. The Oriental Hornet’s exoskeleton has the ability to convert solar energy into electricity. – Source
18. GE and the U.S. Dept. of Energy have figured out a way to use excess carbon dioxide from power plants to store extra solar power and deliver it back to the grid for later use. – Source
19. Some solar energy farms ignite birds in mid-air. – Source
20. In 2013 solar cells were given a Moore’s Law equivalent called Swanson’s Law. It states that solar cell costs will decrease by 20% every year global shipments double. – Source
MAN is solar energy overrated. I will do anything to not have my electricity supply depend on the weather.
You see the picture of the Tesla island? Do you think that plants don’t grow on the soil underneath by accident? No, there’s massive herbicide usage, I’m sure. Do you think those panels are always that clean and dust-free? Someone is probably wiping them down every week. What happens when a hurricane/tropical storm passes over? Not only are they not going to get enough power due to days of thick clouds/rain, these relatively fragile solar arrays are going to shatter and blow to the ends of the earth.
Obviously, I am being a bit melodramatic, and the tropics are a much more feasible location for a solar array than higher latitudes. It is entirely within the right of people to attempt to gather their electricity from the sun instead of burn diesel. But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking it’s going to check all the boxes a consumer is looking for in an energy supply; diffuse over a large area, intermittent via nighttime and clouds, dependent on backup power or expensive batteries with diminishing returns over their lifespan.
4th generation nuclear energy, as scary as it SEEMS, is in fact the safest form of power that we currently have (as the article states) and it is just as zero-carbon as solar/wind if not more.
I guess im not sure what you are scared of with solar power… are you heavily invested in COAL, oil, or fracking? It just seems short sighted to not embrace green energy that is sustainable and doesn’t produce nuclear waste, which everyone seems to forget about.
Thank you for sharing all this information about solar energy.
By the way, there are some good news for those who want to take the plunge into solar energy: for solar panels installed through the end of 2023, homeowners can claim 22% of qualifying installation costs as a tax credit.