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A Brief Timeline of the History of Solar Energy

October 05, 2020

Since the beginning of evolution, the sun has been the primary source of energy. Life would not have existed on earth without the nuclear fusion that takes place in the sun creating solar energy.

For thousands of years, humans harnessed solar energy in various ways. Going down in history, the earliest use of solar power dates back in the 7th century BC for igniting fire with magnifying glasses. In the 3rd century BC, the Greeks and Romans expended sunbeam to light torches using mirrors, a fire-lighting method observed in different eras in history books. Solar power, as we know today, has had a series of landmark achievements in the last 200 years. Let’s take a look at the evolution and developments of solar energy in the modern world.

The 19th Century: This is Where it All Started

1839 – The discovery of photovoltaic effect by the French physicist, Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, laid the foundation of contemporary solar energy. Becquerel observed that when a cell made of metal electrodes was placed in a conducting solution and illuminated, an electric voltage developed.

1883 – Another milestone that the nineteenth century witnessed was the invention of the first photovoltaic selenium cell by the American scientist, Charles Fritts. It was Fritts’s solar cells that were used in 1884 to install the world’s first rooftop in New York City.

The 20th Century: A Dramatic Advancement of Solar Technology

1905 – The twentieth century began with a bang as legendary genius Albert Einstein published a paper on the photoelectric effect on a quantum basis that won him the Noble Prize in 1921. The paper explained how the energy of electrons are ejected from a metal plate when light falls on it.

The 1950s and 1960s – In 1954, scientists at Bell Labs invented the first practical silicon solar cell that converted sunlight into electricity. Four years later, solar panels reached outer space to power satellites. In 1964, NASA launched the first Nimbus spacecraft that operated solely on the solar array.

The 21st Century: An Energy Revolution for Australia

2001 – Australia’s Renewable Energy Target was introduced to source 2% of the country’s generation of electricity from renewable sources that was later increased to 20% in 2009.

2008 onwards – The Victorian government announced its Victorian Energy Upgrades program aimed at helping households and businesses to reduce their energy bills and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The program was updated in 2018 with minor corrections.

Contribute to the Future: Solar Power your Home & Business Today

With the sun shining brighter than ever, we all are eventually striving to move to a sustainable world. The first stride starts right at home – make it solar powered. Learn more about the environmental benefits of solar power.

With a passion for a greener and cleaner planet, Solar Miner is one of the leading solar installation companies delivering environmentally sound and cost-effective solar panels in Melbourne and regional Victoria. are you looking for a kick-ass renewable energy plan? Reach out to us today.

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