As the world’s finite fossil fuels continue to diminish, demand for clean energy alternatives are on the rise. Solar energy is a big part of this conversation, as a completely free and renewable resource that is abundant to this place we call Earth. While you’ve probably heard a lot about solar power, you may be surprised to learn some of the facts surrounding it.
Take a look at just a few of the things about solar energy that you probably didn’t know:
1. Solar energy was used as far back as the 7th Century B.C., when magnifying glasses would collect rays from the sun to create fire.
2. Though it’s still considered cutting-edge technology today, the first manufactured solar panels on the market appeared in 1956.
3. Solar energy is clean, meaning that it leaves no pollutants or negative environmental effects at all. The only pollution that occurs is through the actual manufacture and transport of solar panels.
4. The largest solar energy plant is 1,000 acres large and is located in the Mojave Desert in California. It consists of concentrated solar power plants. The largest photovoltaic solar power plant is Golmud Solar Park, located in the Qinghai Province of China.
5. Various space programs across the globe harness the power of solar energy for rockets and spaceships. Since 1958, the U.S. space program has used solar power in spaceships.
6. Events that need temporary energy infrastructures, like outdoor festivals, often use solar energy to create the power needed.
7. Solar panels are not just pollutant-free; they are also noise-free. There are no motors or moving parts to add to the cacophony of life. The panels collect the sun’s rays and convert to it to energy without any mechanical movement.
8. The sun is 90 million miles from Earth, but it takes under 10 minutes for the solar rays to reach our planet.
10. Taxpayers in the U.S. pay nearly 100 times more in fossil fuel subsidies than they do for similar solar energy initiative.
11. In the U.S., more than 10,000 homes use solar energy exclusively.
Enough sunlight reaches the earth in just one hour to provide energy for the entire world for a whole year.
Understanding solar energy is the first step to mass awareness and adoption of this clean and smart renewable resource. Shifting focus from fossil fuels to solar energy is an environment- and finance-friendly way to go—and there’s plenty more where it came from!