LA Solar Group

{When|The year that|What was the year} Solar Energy was invented?

{When|The year that|What was the year} Solar Energy was invented?

The {history of solar energy|story of solar energy|history of solar power} began in 1954{ with a|, with just a| with just a} {few small steps,|couple of small steps,|handful of steps} {driven by scientists and inventors|led by inventors and scientists|inspired by scientists and inventors}. {In the 20th century|The 20th century was when|At the turn of 20th-century}{,|| it was the time that} the {defense and space|space and defense} industries realized the {value|benefits|potential} {of solar energy|in solar power|from solar energy}. {By then|At the time|In the early days}{, it was a promising| it was a promising| it was an attractive}{, but still expensive,| however, it was still a costly| but expensive} {alternative to|option to replace|alternatives to the} fossil fuels. The {industry has matured|technology has advanced|field has grown} and is {now a viable and affordable|today a viable and affordable|becoming a viable and cost-effective} technology that is {quickly|rapidly} replacing {oil, coal,|coal, oil,|coal, oil} {and natural gas in|as well as natural gas, in|or natural gas within} {today’s|the current|the present} energy market. This timeline {highlights the key|will highlight the major|highlights the most important} {pioneers and events that led|innovators and the events that led|people and events that contributed} to the {development|creation|advancement} {of solar technology|of solar technology}.

The Age of Discovery (19th-20th century)

The {mid-19th century saw|late 19th century witnessed|19th century was} the {birth of physics with|beginning of physics, with|beginning of physics thanks to} discoveries in {electricity, magnetism|the fields of electricity, magnetism|magnetism, electricity} {and the study|as well as the research|along with the science} of light. {Scientists and inventors|Researchers and scientists|The work of scientists and engineers} laid the {foundation|groundwork|basis} for {much of the history|the majority of the development|the entire history} {of solar energy|of the solar power|in the field of solar energy}.

1839: {A 19-year-old|19-year-old|A 19-year old} Frenchman Alexandre-Edmond {Becquerel builds|becquerel creates|Bécquerel designs} {the first solar cell|one of the first solar cells|his first photovoltaic cell anywhere} {in|that was ever built in|to be built anywhere in} the world.1 His {researches|studies|work} on {light and electricity inspired|electricity and light influenced|electricity and light inspired} {later photovoltaics developments|the development of photovoltaics in the following years|subsequent developments in photovoltaics}. {The|It is the|In the} European Photovoltaic Sun Energy Conference and Exhibition {gives out|awards|award} the Becquerel {prize each year|award each year|prize every year}.

{1861:|1861|The year is 1861.} Auguste (or Augustin){, a mathematician| Mathematician} and physicist{, patents|, invents| patents} {a solar motor|the solar motor|an electric motor for solar power}.

1873: Willoughby {Smith,|Smith|S. Smith,} an electrical engineer{ discovers the|, discovers} photovoltaic {effects in|properties of|effect of} selenium.

1876{:|} W. G. Adams (professor of Natural Philosophy, King’s College London) discovers that the {electrical resistance|resistance to electricity} of selenium {can change due|may change due|is subject} to radiation {heat, light or chemical|light, heat or chemical|either from light or heat} {action|reaction}. “2

{1882:|1882.|The year is 1882.} Abel Pifre creates a “solar engine”{, which generates| that generates| which produces} enough {electricity for|power to power|electricity to power} {his solar printing press|the solar printer|its solar-powered printing presses}. (pictured below)

{1883:|In 1883,|The year is 1883.} Charles Fritts, an inventor, {creates|develops|designs} the first solar {cells using|cells made of|cell using} {selenium and gold|the elements of gold and selenium|silver and}. {It converts solar radiation into|The cells convert solar radiation into|It converts solar radiation to} {electricity at a mere|electricity with a mere|electric power with just} {1%|1percent|one percent} efficiency.

1883: John Ericsson, an inventor, {develops|designs|creates} {a sun motor that uses|the sun motor, which uses|an electric sun motor using} {parabolic tube construction|the construction of parabolic tubes|the parabolic tube} (PTC){, to concentrate| to focus| to concentrate} {solar radiation to power a|sunlight to generate|solar radiation to generate} boiler steam. PTC {is still being|is still|continues to be} {used|utilized|employed} {in solar thermal power plants|for solar power generation|to power solar thermal plants}.

{1884:|1884.|The year is 1884.} Charles Fritts places solar panels on {a|the roof of a|the rooftop of a} New York City rooftop.

1903: Aubrey Eneas, a Pasadena-based {entrepreneur, launches|entrepreneur, starts|businessman, establishes} {the|The|1903: The} Solar Motor Company to market {solar-driven steam engines for|solar-powered steam engines for|solar-powered steam engines to be used in} irrigation projects. {Soon, the company fails|The company soon fails|In the end, the company is unable to survive}.

1912-1913{:|} Frank Shuman, an engineer {from|at the|with the} Sun Power Company, uses PTC to {construct|build} {the first solar thermal power plant|the world’s first solar-powered power station|one of the first thermal solar power plants} {in|anywhere in} {the world|the world}.

The Age of Understanding Solar Panels (late-19th-early-20th centuries)

{Modern theoretical physics has helped|Theoretical physics of the present has helped|Modern theoretical physics has assisted} {to create a better|to improve our|in gaining a better} understanding of {photovoltaic|the photovoltaic} electricity. Quantum Physics’ description of the subatomic {worlds of electrons and|worlds of electrons as well as|realms of electrons and} photons {reveals the mechanism by|provides the mechanism through|shows the way in} {which packets of light can|which light particles can|the light-emitting particles} {disrupt electrons within|cause electrons to be sucked out of|alter the electrons in} silicon crystals{ to create| and create|, causing} {electric|electrical} currents.

{1888:|The year was 1888.|In 1888,} Wilhelm Hallwachs, a {physicist, describes|scientist, describes|scientist and physicist, explains} the physics {behind photovoltaic cells|of photovoltaic cells|behind photovoltaic cell photovoltaics}. This is {what we now|the basis of what we|what we} {call|refer to as}{ the|”the Hallwachs Effect.”|”the”} Hallwachs Effect.

1905: Albert Einstein publishes, “On {a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning|an Heuristic Perspective on|a Heuristic Approach to} {The Production|the Production|The Creation} {and|of Light and the|as well as the} Transformation of Light,” {which explains how light creates|that explains how light generates|explaining how light produces} an electrical current {by|through} knocking electrons {from certain|out of certain|away from specific} metal atoms.

1916{:|.} Jan Czochralski, a {chemist, invents a way|scientist, comes up with a method|chemical engineer, discovers a way} to {create single crystals from|make single crystals out of|create single crystals using} metal. This is the {basis of|foundation for|principle behind} {creating semiconductor wafers, which|making semiconductor wafers that|the creation of semiconductor wafers. They} {are still used in electronics|are still used in electronic devices|remain in use in electronics} {and solar cells|as well as solar cell|or solar cells}.

1917{:|.} Albert Einstein provides a {theoretical basis|theoretical foundation|theoretic basis} for photovoltaics. {He introduces the idea|Einstein introduces the concept|Einstein explains} that light {acts as|is} {a packet carrying electromagnetic force|an electromagnetic force-carrying packet|an electromagnetic wave that is carried by a packet}.

1929{:|} Gilbert Lewis, a {physicist, coined|scientist, coined|scientist and physicist, invented}{ the term|”photons” in 1929|”photons”, a term coined by physicist Gilbert Lewis} “photons”{, to describe| to refer to| in 1929, to describe} {Einstein’s electromagnetic energy|the electromagnetic energy of Einstein’s|Einstein’s energy-based electromagnetic} packets.

Age of Solar Technology Development (mid-20th Century)

The {laboratory|lab} {is no longer|has become no more|does not serve as} the {place|ideal place|best place} {for serious research on|to conduct serious research into|for research that is serious about} the {development|advancement} {of solar energy technology|in solar technology|technologies for solar power}{ based upon| that is based on|, based on} the {invention|development|discovery} {of monocrystalline silicon cells|by monocrystalline silicon cell|the monocrystalline silicon-based cells}. {It is|It’s} {similar to|like} other technologies. It was {developed from|created from|developed through} {research done|studies conducted|research conducted} {for|by the|to support} U.S. defense and aerospace industries. The first {successful application|application that has been successful|major application} of {the technology is|this technology was} {satellites and space exploration|the space-based exploration satellite|research and satellites}. {Even though|Although|While} solar energy is {highly effective|extremely efficient|extremely effective}{, most of its| however, the majority of its| but the majority of the} technology {cannot be commercialized|is not commercially available|isn’t commercially viable}.

1941{:|} Russell Ohl, a Bell Laboratories engineer, files {a patent application for|an application for patents on|an application for patents for} the first {monocrystalline silicon-based|silicon-based monocrystalline|monocrystalline silicon} {solar cell|solar cell}.

1947: {Post-war energy scarcity|The post-war shortage of energy|Post-war energy shortage} {makes passive solar houses popular|has made passive solar homes popular|is what makes passive solar houses so popular}.

1951: {First|The first} {solar cells made of germanium|germanium solar cells for solar power|solar cells made from germanium} are {built|constructed|made}.

1954{:|} {The first silicon solar cell|First silicon solar cells|the first solar solar panel made of silicon} {is|was} {produced|manufactured|made} {by|in 1954 by|through} Bell Laboratories. {These cells, while weaker|The cells, though less powerful|Although they are less robust} than {current cells, can|the current cell,|modern cells,} {still generate significant|produce significant|nevertheless produce substantial} {amounts|quantities} of electricity{ at| with|, at} {a rate of about|around|approximately} 4{%| percent} efficiency.

1955{: First solar-powered phone call| The first solar-powered phone call| First phone call powered by solar} made.

1956{: The first solar-powered radio| The first radio powered by solar energy| The first solar-powered radio} was {introduced|launched|released} {by|in 1956 by|through} General Electric. It {can be used|is able to operate|works} in {both daylight and dark|dark and daylight|both dark and daylight}.

1958: Vanguard I, the first spacecraft powered by solar {power,|energy,|power} is launched.

1960{: A car|. A vehicle|. Car} {equipped|fitted|that was equipped} {with a solar-panel roof|by a roof made of solar panels|that had a rooftop solar panel}{,|} {and powered by|which was powered by|that was powered with} a {72-volt battery|battery of 72 volts|battery with a voltage of 72volts}. It was driven {around|through} London, England.

{1961: A conference|1961: Conference|The year 1961 was the Year of the Conference} {sponsored|organized|arranged} by the United Nations on solar energy for the {developing world|poorest of nations}.

1962{:|} Telstar{, the| 1962: Telstar, which was the very| is the world’s} first {satellite-powered solar communications satellite,|satellite powered by solar energy,|satellite-powered solar communications satellite} {is powered by|runs on|has} 3,600 {cells manufactured|solar cells that were manufactured|cells made} {at|by} Bell Laboratories.

1967{:| The} {Soviet|the Soviet} Union’s Soyuz 1 is the first spacecraft {powered by solar energy|that is powered by solar energy|powered by solar power} to {transport humans|carry humans|carry people}.

1972{:| 1972:} The Synchronar 2100 {solar-powered watch|watch powered by solar} goes {on|for} sale.

{Age|The Age} of Solar Power Growth (late-20th century)

{The first commercializations of solar technology|Solar technology’s first introductions to commercialization|First commercializations in solar technologies} were {triggered|spurred|brought on} {by the energy crisis|due to the crisis in energy|through the economic crisis} {in|of} the 1970s. {Low oil prices and|The low prices for oil and the|In the 1970s, low oil prices and} {slow economic growth are|slower economic development are|low economic growth} {a|the} {result of a shortage|consequence of a lack|result of the shortage} of {petroleum in industrialized|oil in developed|crude oil within industrialized} {countries|nations}. {The|It is the|In the U.S.,} U.S. government provides financial incentives {to residential and commercial|for commercial and residential|to commercial and residential} solar {systems|panels}{, research| as well as research| Research} and development institutes{, demonstration projects that use| demonstration projects that make use of| and demonstration projects that utilize} solar {electricity|power|energy} in government buildings{, as well| as well|, as} {as regulatory structures that support|in regulatory structures that help|being regulatory structures to support} the current solar {industry|market}. Solar panels are {now cheaper|more affordable|currently cheaper} than ever{, from| before, ranging from| before, starting at} $1,865 {per watt in|for a watt in|per watt back in} 1956{ to $106| to just $106|, to $106} per watt in {1976|the year 1976} (prices {adjusted for|are adjusted to reflect|were adjusted for the current price in} {2019|the year 2019} dollars).

1973: {A crude oil embargo imposed|An embargo on crude oil|A crude oil embargo put in place} by Arab {countries drives|nations drives|countries pushes} {oil prices up by 300|prices for oil up by 300|oil prices up by up to 300}{%| percent}

1973: Solar One is built by the University of Delaware, which {is the first building|is the first structure|was the first building} {to be powered entirely|that is entirely powered|that is completely powered} {by solar energy|with solar energy|by solar power}.

1974{:|} {The|1974: The|the} Solar Heating and Cooling Demonstration Act {allows for|permits|allows} the {use|utilization} of {solar energy in federal buildings|solar energy in federal buildings|solar energy in federal structures}.

1974: {In order to|To} {forecast and study energy markets|predict and analyze the energy market|research and forecast the market for energy}{,| in order to study and forecast energy markets,| In 1974, in order to forecast and study energy markets,} {the|in 1974, the|The} International Energy Agency was established.

1974: U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration {is established|was established|is created} to {promote the|encourage the|help promote} commercialization and {development|advancement} {of solar energy|for solar power|in solar energy}.

1974{:|} {The|1974: The|1974:} Solar Energy Industries Association is {created to represent the interests|established to represent the interests|formed to represent the needs} and {needs|requirements} {of the solar industry|in the industry of solar|for the solar energy industry}.

1977: Congress establishes the Solar Energy Research Institute. {It is now called|The institute is now known as|It’s now called}{ the|”the|”The} National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

1977{: Photovoltaic cells are produced| The photovoltaic cell is produced| In 1977, photovoltaic cells are manufactured} {in excess of|at a rate of more than|with a power output of over} 500 kW {worldwide|in the world|across the globe}.

1977: {Establishment|Creation|The establishment} of the U.S. Department of Energy.

1978{:|| 1977:} {The|1978: The|the} Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), {which established net metering,|which created net metering,|that established net metering} {requires utilities to buy|obliges utilities to purchase|requires utilities to purchase} {electricity|electric power|energy} {from|through|via} “qualifying institutions” {that meet certain|that meet specific|which meet certain} {energy source and efficiency standards|energy source and efficiency standards|standards for energy source and efficiency}.

1978{:| 1978:| 1977:} {The|the} Energy Tax Act created the Investment Tax Credit (ITC){, and| as well as| and} the Residential Energy Credit in order to {encourage|promote} {the purchase of solar panels|the purchase of solar panels}.

1979: {Oil exports|Exports of oil} {from|coming from|of} {the|Iran and the|in the} Middle East are interrupted by the Iranian Revolution, which forces {oil prices up|the price of oil to rise|oil prices to go up}.

1979{:|.} U.S. President Jimmy Carter installs solar {cells|panels} {on|in|onto} the White House roof. {These panels were later removed|The panels were later removed|The panels were later taken down} by {President|the president} Ronald Reagan.

1981: The {first concentrating|first concentrated|very first concentrated} PV system {is put into|goes into|is put in} operation, {funded by|financed by|with funding from} {the|Saudi Arabia and the} United States of America and Saudi Arabia.

1981{:|} {The|1981: The|the} Solar Challenger is the first solar-powered {aircraft capable of flying|aircraft that can fly|plane capable of flying} {over|across|for} {long|vast|large} distances.

1981{:| 1981:| 1982:} {The|1981: The|In 1981, the} U.S. Department of Energy {completes|concludes} Solar One, a pilot project {for|to harness|that uses} {solar thermal energy|Solar thermal power|renewable energy from solar} {in|within|located in} the Mojave Desert, near Barstow.

1982{: Construction of the| The year 1982 saw the construction of the| Construction of the world’s} first {large-scale solar farm|solar farm of a large scale|large-scale solar power plant} {near|close to} Hesperia {in|located in|near} California.

1982{:| 1982:| 1983:} {The|1982:|In 1982, the} Sacramento Municipal Utility District appointed its {first solar power plant|first solar power plant}.

1985: {Cells of silicon|Silicon cells|Cells made of silicon} {with a 20% efficiency|that had a efficiency of 20%} were {created|developed|invented} {at|in|by} the University of New South Wales{,| in| which is} {Australia’s|the country’s|which is Australia’s} Center for Photovoltaic Engineering.

1985: {Development|The development} of lithium-ion batteries {that can|which can|that could} {be used later|later be used} {to store renewable energy|for storage of renewable power|in the future to hold renewable energy}.

1991{: Commercial| Commercial| commercial} {production of the first lithium-ion battery|manufacturing of the very first lithium-ion batteries|manufacture of first battery made of lithium}.

{1992|1991|1993}: Congress makes the Investment Tax Credit permanent.

2000: Germany establishes a feed in tariff program {to boost|that will help boost|to help} {the solar industry|energy efficiency in the industry of solar|production of solar panels}.

{Age|The Age|Time} of Solar Cells Maturity (21st Century)

{Solar energy is a|The solar energy system is|It is a} {complex|complicated} but {sound|reliable|efficient} technology that {has been supported|is backed|has been embraced} by the {government|federal government} to {make it|ensure it is} the most affordable {energy in|energy source in|source of energy in} {history|the history of energy}. {Its success is due to|The reason for its success is|Its popularity is due to} the S-curve. This means that{ while|, while the| even though} {initial growth in a technology|initially, the growth of a technology|initial growth in a new technology} {is slow, driven by|can be slow and driven by|has been slow due to}{ only| a small number of|} {early adopters, it experiences|those who are early adopters, it will experience|the early adopters, it sees} rapid growth {as economies scale|as economies grow|when economies expand} {allows production costs to drop|allow production costs to decrease|permits production costs to fall} and supply chains {can expand|to expand|to grow}. In {2019, solar modules|the year 2019, solar modules|2019, solar panels} were {$106/watt, but they|priced at $106/watt. They|at $106/watt, however they} are {now|currently} $0.38/watt. {89% of this|The majority of the|Eighty-nine percent of this} {drop|decline|decrease} {has occurred since 2010|is since 2010|has taken place since the year 2010}.

2001: Home Depot starts selling {residential solar power systems|solar panels for residential use}.

2001{:|.} Suntech Power, a Chinese company {founded|that was founded|established} in China{, becomes a global| is transformed into a world| and then becomes a global} {leader in solar technology|leading solar company}.

{2006:|2006.|2005:} California Public Utilities Commission approves California Solar Initiative, which {provides incentives for|offers incentives for|gives incentives to} solar development.

{2008:|2008.|The year 2008 is the time when} NREL {establishes a new|sets a record for the first time in|records a brand new} {world record in|record for|world record for} solar cell efficiency{ with|, with| by achieving} 40.8{%| percent| percentage}.

2009{: Inauguration| Inauguration| The Inauguration Ceremony} of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

2009{:|} {The|2009: The|2009. The} American Recovery and Reinvestment Act {provides $90 billion for|offers $90 billion in|includes $90 billion to} {clean energy investments|green energy projects|renewable energy} {and|as well as} tax incentives. {This includes loan guarantees|It also includes loans with guarantees|The legislation includes guarantees for loans} {and|as well as} {subsidies|subsidy programs|subsidy}.

2009{:|.} China {implements feed-in tariffs to|introduces tariffs on feed-ins in order to|adopts feed-in tariffs that} {promote|encourage|boost} {growth in the|development in|expansion in the} renewable energy {industry|sector}.

2010{: Former| The former| Obama: Former} {President|president|Obama was President.} Obama {installed|put up|set up} solar panels {and|as well as} {a solar water heater in|an energy-efficient solar water heater at|the solar water heater inside} the White House.

{2011:|2011.|The year 2011 is a big one:} Solyndra {bankruptcy,|bankrupt,|collapse, and} investment {fiasco slows down solar industry|scandal slows solar industry|crisis slows solar} {growth|expansion}

2013{: The world’s 100 largest| The world’s 100 biggest| The world’s largest 100} solar PV installations {surpasses|have surpassed|exceed} 100 {gigawatts|gigawatts}.

2015{:|.} Tesla {unveils the|announces its|unveiled the} lithium-ion Powerwall Battery Pack to enable {rooftop solar|solar rooftop} {owners to store|homeowners to save|users to keep} their {electricity|energy|electric power}.

{2015:|2015.|The year 2015 is a record-breaking one:} China {surpasses|beats|exceeds} Germany to {become the world’s leading country|become the world’s top country|be the top nation in the world} in solar {system capacity|capacity of the system|capacity for the solar system}.

{2015:|2015.|The year 2015 is here:} Google {Launches|launches|Introduces} Project Sunroof {To Help Homeowners Evaluate|to help homeowners evaluate|to assist homeowners in evaluating} the {viability|possibility|feasibility} {of rooftop|for rooftop|roof} solar.

2016{: One| 1| One} million solar installations {in|across} the United States.

{2016:|2016.|The year 2016 is the year that} Solar Impulse 2 makes the first {zero-emissions flight|flight with zero emissions|non-emissions flight} {in the world|around the globe|anywhere in the world}.

2016{:|.|,} Las Vegas (Nevada) {becomes the largest|is the first|is now the largest} American city {government to run|administration to operate|government that runs} {completely|entirely} {on|using|by} renewable energy. {This includes solar panels|It includes solar panel|The solar power system includes}{ trees| and trees|, trees and} {at|in the city’s|on} City Hall.

2017{: In| The year 2017 is the year that in| In} the United States, solar energy {employs more people than any|is the most employed of all|employs more workers than any} other {fossil fuel industry|fossil fuels industry|industry that relies on fossil fuels}.

2019{: Installation of the first| The first| First installation of an} {offshore floating solar farm in|floating solar farm offshore in|floating solar farm off the coast of} the Dutch North Sea.

2020: {Building|The construction of} a {new|brand new} solar power plant {is more affordable|is less expensive|will be less expensive} than {continuing to operate|operating|maintaining} an existing coal {plant|power plant}.

2020{:|} California {will require all new homes to|requires all homes built in 2020 to|is requiring all newly built homes} {include|have|be equipped with} {solar panels by 2020|solar panels by the year 2020.|solar panels by 2020.}

2020{: According| 2020: According| The 2020 forecast is that, according} {to the|to|the} International Energy Agency, “Solar is now the {king|most powerful|reigning king} of the {electricity market|market for electricity}.”

2021{:|} Apple, Inc. announced {it was|that it would be} {building the largest|developing the biggest|creating the largest} lithium-ion battery {in the world|on the planet|ever built} {to generate|to produce|that generates} {electricity from its|electric power from the|energy from its} California solar farm{ of| that is|, which is} {240 megawatts|240 megawatts|250 megawatts}.



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