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Top 6 Things About Solar Energy

When reading news this morning, I found this interesting title”Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy”. I was surprised that solar energy has a history of more than half century. Are these things also new to you? Let’s look at them together.

Top 6: Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

Top 5: The first silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954.

Top 4: The space industry was an early adopter of solar technology. In the 1960s the space industry began to use solar technology to provide power aboard spacecrafts. The Vanguard 1 — the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells — remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit – logging more than 6 billion miles.

Top 3: Total U.S. installations reach 3,300 megawatts in 2012.

Top 2: As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses. Still, the biggest hurdle to affordable solar energy remains the soft costs – like permitting, zoning, and hooking a solar system up to the power gird. On average local permitting and inspection processes add more than $2,500 to the total cost of a solar energy system. The Energy Department Sunshot Initiatives drive down these soft costs – making it faster and cheaper for families and businesses to go solar.

Top 1: The largest solar energy project in the world is currently under construction in California’s Mojave Desert. The project relies on a technology known as solar thermal energy. Once the project is complete 350,000 mirrors will reflect light onto boilers. When the water boils, the steam turns a turbine, creating electricity. The project is expected to provide clean, renewable energy for 140,000 homes and is supported by an Energy Department loan guarantee.

Source: http://energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energy