07 Mar Traveling Through Time: Solar Energy Over the Last Two Decades
In the brief time that solar energy has been around, it has quickly made its way to the top, becoming a major source of energy. Coal and gas have been the primary sources of power up until advances in technology and efficiency have allowed solar to compete with the other major forms of power generating sources. Throughout history, solar has evolved and proven to be a cost-effective and clean source of energy production.
In order to fully understand the history of solar, we need to travel back to 1905. The concept of PV energy can be traced back to Albert Einstein’s paper entitled “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Emission and Transformation of Light.” In his paper, Einstein talks about light existing as tiny packets or particles that he called photons. When photons collide with materials, they can free electrons, which flow together in an electrical current.
When light strikes the surface of a solar cell, its energy is transferred on to the atoms of the cell material, typically silicon, and releases electrons. The electrons are then channeled into a flow called a current, which is used as power. Unlike other forms of power such as wind, hydroelectric and thermal, photovoltaic power contains no moving parts. Solar arrays are able to last for long periods of time and do not need constant maintenance.
When solar first emerged in the power industry, it was not the most cost effective solution. In the beginning stages, the cost to build a solar facility cost over $6.00 per watt. The manufacturing process of solar panels has been improving over the past few years, making modules more affordable. Today, the cost to build a solar facility is just under $2.00 a watt and is expected to fall under one dollar a watt in the near future.
The cost to produce energy from solar has decreased steadily over the years. This fact and the benefits to the environment have resulted in more and more people turning to solar to fulfill their energy needs.
Sol-Up USA has a mission to make Las Vegas the solar capital of the world. Contact us for more information and to start your journey to 100 percent clean energy production today.