Solar panels are becoming more and more commonplace today, but did you know that the first instance of using the sun to create energy dates as far back as 1839? It was during this year that French physicist Edmond Becquerel noticed that energy can be sourced from light. After roughly 50 years of experimenting in both Europe and the United States, the first solar cell was created in the early 1890’s. Several patents were filed in the following years, and solar cells became more well-known.
Would you believe that in Florida, people began using solar energy to heat their water in the 1920’s! The next several decades brought big name laboratories to the game, with companies like AT&T working toward perfecting the science. In 1954, the New York Times said that solar energy would lead to “limitless energy of the sun.”
Soon we began to see common items incorporating solar power into their makeup, like wristwatches and calculators. As the ability to make this renewable energy source affordable and compact became easier and easier over the years, we now find solar power to be pretty common. In fact, even the White House is outfitted with solar panels and a solar-powered water heater.
It’s funny how some individuals view solar as a new technology and therefore are unsure about its stability in the energy marketplace. Yet it’s clear that this is a tried and true energy source that’s been around for almost 200 years! Maybe the next time you hear someone questioning solar energy, you can tell them some of its interesting history.