A history of solar - an essential timeline | RenewEconomy

A history of solar – an essential timeline

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Check out this really cool graphic that tracks the history of solar from a nearly laughable, sci-fi concept to a viable energy source.

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Solar power has undoubtedly come in leaps and bounds from nothing more than a laughable, sci-fi concept to a viable energy source. This terrific Timeline below shows some of the most momentous occasions in the history of solar power, right back to the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839.

As the industry enters the age of unsubsidised competition with cheap fossil fuels, it is more important now than ever to remember just how far solar power has come. Even in the last 50 years, the price of solar panels has fallen from over $1,750 per watt in 1956 all the way to less than $1 per watt by early 2012. The future is even more exciting – as the price of solar power continues to fall and new global markets emerge, are we beginning to see the first signs of a renewable energy revolution?

Our thanks go to Green and Gold Solar for preparing this graph and giving us the opportunity to publish it. Enjoy.

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  1. Gary06 8 years ago

    Solar is providing a realistic and safer alternative to the corporate coal mines. Installed on homes it is significantly reducing the translocation of energy throughout the system. It is reducing the waste such translocation has cost with just the power plants operating. I write this note to flag that while many have already installed panels, for those who want to upgrade and bring more energy into the sytem, there is political and administrative swill again. The existing entitlements to benefit for existing power supplied by existing panels on your roof, will be lost if you install more. This needs to change. We need more clean energy.

    • Anthony Neal 8 years ago

      I would very much like to help publicise the case for renewable energy and solar power in particular, having followed courses on PV systems at CAT and having actively supported the Save Our Solar campaign in the UK in the autumn of 2011.

      Let me know what you need and I’ll be glad to respond.

      • Giles Parkinson 8 years ago

        Maybe not free because that would depend on the tariff – but certainly at a discount – the extent of which will be debated from here to eternity.

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