What Is the History of Solar Energy Technology?


Solar energy has become much more than alternative energy to help save our planet. The growing popularity of solar panel technology has produced a growth industry in the United States. Solar panel statistics show that industry jobs have increased 167% over the last ten years. 

Yet, as we ponder the future of solar, we might wonder what is the history of solar energy? You might be surprised to learn that solar panel tech has been around longer than you think. 

So if you want to learn more about the origins of solar power, keep reading. This brief guide puts the history of solar energy technology into perspective.

What is the History of Solar Energy

People have harnessed the sun’s energy for almost as long as humans have roamed the Earth. For example, the invention of fire can be attributed to solar power heating flammable materials through magnifying glasses. 

Centuries later, the ancient Greeks and Romans created sunrooms to attract and keep the sun’s warmth. Legend has it that Archimedes used the sun to make laser beams against bronze to burn enemy ships. Whether true or not, the modern Greek navy tested the theory and was able to burn a wooden ship fifty meters away.

Yet, solar energy technology as we know it today got its start in 1839 with Edmond Becquerel, a physicist from France. His discovery of the photovoltaic cell launched the possibilities we enjoy today.

When Were Solar Panels Invented

Almost half a century after Becquerel’s discovery, Willoughby Smith found that a photoconductor could be created from selenium. But it was William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day who applied the first solar panel tech. 

Then in 1883, inventor Charles Fritz produced the first working selenium solar cell. From there, the future of solar attracted notable scientists like Albert Einstein, who theorized the use of solar for energy.

Yet, if we want to place a date on the invention of solar panel tech we use today, Bell Labs got credit in 1954. Then, Bell’s three working scientists created the first solar panel tech using a silicon base. 

The introduction of the space age helped solar panel statistics grow with more efficient and reliable materials. Since then, solar energy technology has evolved to the panels used by companies like Blue Raven Solar to make your home solar energy efficient. Yet, as solar energy technology advances, the efficiency of solar panel tech now grows at an even faster rate.

The Future of Solar is Limitless

What is the history of solar energy going to do for our future? From its humble beginnings as a direct heat source, solar energy technology has emerged as one of our best opportunities for limitless power. 

The inventions and experiments for more unique solar energy technology will become more prominent. Solar panel tech is being created in various forms we never thought possible. 

So it’s safe to say that the future of solar energy looks very bright. If you found this brief look at the history of solar enlightening, come back soon to read more insightful articles.