Learning How to Harness Our Solar Potential

Updated on August 22, 2017
The Sun is Rising on Solar Power.
The Sun is Rising on Solar Power. | Source

Solar Basics

The sun is our main power source on earth. Our planet has always benefitted from solar energy. Without it, the earth would be another cold, dead rock floating in space.

Algae, plants, and trees are the best solar collecting and processing factories known to man. Many animals including humans process sunlight into vitamin D necessary for health. Only fairly recently in our history as a species has mankind begun to realize the importance of the sun as a potential source of clean, renewable power that far exceeds our world-wide energy usage.

There are currently two main ways we collect solar radiation from the sun and turn it into useable power here on earth: with solar thermal and photovoltaic systems.

Solar Thermal Systems

Solar thermal systems collect energy from the sun and convert it into thermal power. The thermal power can then be used for multiple purposes, from providing HV/AC to a residence, to heating a restaurant oven, to providing the intense temperatures necessary for industrial metallurgy.

The thermal energy produced by these systems can be converted into electric power. Solar thermal systems have followed various designs and used various types of solar collectors and solar concentrators. The most efficient design to date, concentrated solar power Stirling system, achieved 30% efficiency, about twice the efficiency of standard PV arrays.

Another plus for solar thermal systems is that whatever thermal energy is excess, not needed for immediate conversion or consumption, can be stored in the form of molten salts. The heat from molten salts can provide direct thermal power or produce electrical power useable or deliverable to the grid long after the sun has set.

Ivanpah Solar Thermal Facility at Mohave might provide answers to our future energy needs.
Ivanpah Solar Thermal Facility at Mohave might provide answers to our future energy needs. | Source

Photovoltaic Systems

Photovoltaic (solar power) systems are components designed to convert light (usually sunlight) into electrical power. PV systems may be configured in one of five ways:

1) Grid tied and battery storage

2) Grid tied without

3) Off-grid and battery storage for both AC and DC appliances

4) Off-grid and battery storage for DC only appliances

5) Off-grid without a battery (system direct)

A PV array is comprised of multiple photovoltaic modules, or solar panels, which convert solar radiation into usable direct current. A very basic photovoltaic system in the US, intended for residential, commercial, or industrial use, typically has one or more solar panels, a DC to AC power converter, hardware for supporting and mounting the solar panels, and electrical wiring. It may also include other task-specific accessories to meet the owner's specific needs, such as a battery system and chargers, or revenue grade metering (generally necessary for participation in solar and other renewable energy tax incentive or sell back programs, or for receiving grid credits.) In some countries, grid ties and metering are mandatory.

The number of solar modules in the array determines the total DC output of a PV system. The converter governs the amount of AC wattage that is distributed for use. Any difference in DC and AC outputs could be stored in a battery or used to run a DC device.

Our Solar Powered Timeline

The history of solar power dates back to the 7th century BC when people first used lenses to magnify and focus sunlight to light their fires.

Stonehenge reminds us of our long fascination with the power of the sun.
Stonehenge reminds us of our long fascination with the power of the sun. | Source

In 212 BC, Archimedes, the Greek physicist, mathematician, engineer, and inventor, may have been the first to use sunlight as a weapon of war. According to history, the wooden ships of the Roman fleet, at the time besieging Syracuse harbor, were set aflame using highly polished bronze shields as mirrors to reflect and focus sunlight. No hard proof of Archimedes feat has been found supporting the historical record. However, the Greek Navy successfully tested the theory in 1973, setting fire to a tar and plywood mockup at a distance of 50 meters.

In 1839, French scientist Edmond Becquerel, then age 19, invented the first true PV system while experimenting in his father's lab. The system was comprised of an electrolytic cell made up of two metal electrodes placed in an electricity-conducting solution that generated electricity when exposed to light.

In 1878, French inventor Auguste Mouchout became the pioneer of solar cooling when he made ice by attaching a refrigeration device to a solar-fueled steam engine.

In 1954, the first silicon PV cell, precursor to all contemporary PV technology, was invented at Bell Laboratories.

This is a solar highway project in Oregon
This is a solar highway project in Oregon | Source

The Benefits of Solar Power Today

Today even a small PV system is capable of providing enough electricity to power a single home, a satellite, an electric car, or a drone aircraft.

Total global solar capacity increased over a three year period (2010-2013) from 40 GW to 139 GW. Germany reported the most solar capacity at 36 GW.

Solar energy technologies continue to advance as does the marketplace for solar power. As of 2013, the solar industry in the US is creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market.

Solar power is increasingly available to qualifying homeowners as a leasing option. The homeowner gets decreased energy bills, while a third party fronts the initial investment and the upkeep of equipment.

The costs associated with producing solar power have plummeted during the past six years. Most of the lower cost is due to increased production of PV modules and improvements in the technology.

In your opinion, which will make the most difference over the next decade?

See results

Obstacles to Solar Power that We Need to Overcome

The obstacles that stand in the way of us reaching our full solar potential are many and varied. Here are some of the major political, economic, and environmental concerns that need to be addressed in the near future.

Political Obstacles

Politically, a large part of the resistance facing the so-called "solar revolution" is basically a PR problem. For years, the potentials of alternative energies have been largely ignored due to lack of political will and short-term economic policies. More conservative governments and entities have viewed alternative energies like solar, at best, as tree-hugging idealism and at worst as threats to big establishment, to traditional ideologies, and even to political stability in general.

Of course, the best cures for the fear of new times and technological progress, are new times and technological progress. Younger generations and the better educated are always less afraid and more accepting that change is inevitable. They also tend to feel more capable of being a part of the positive changes to come.

What can be done now is positive PR campaigning to correct out-of-date information, to educate about the benefits of solar over non-renewables, and to advertise current scientific breakthroughs as heroic and worthy of our aspirations. Society needs to be excited about our bright solar future, not dreading the future in general.

PV siding creates more self-sufficient and eco-friendly buildings.
PV siding creates more self-sufficient and eco-friendly buildings. | Source

Economic Obstacles

Economically, solar power is becoming more competitive due to lower costs and increased efficiencies. In places like Hawaii, where the costs of energy have always been high, solar power is already far cheaper than fossil fuel non-renewables. In fact, utility companies there have refused to connect new PV systems to the grid because the popularity of solar far exceeds the needs of the grid during peak production hours.

This highlights the main problem facing PV systems at the moment, the lack of storage capacity for saving electric power produced for off-peak and night-time use. Better batteries and super-capacitors, and more affordable thermal storage are our challenges for the future.

Environmental Obstacles

On the environmental front, the solar industry has plenty of room for future improvement before it becomes a truly clean industry. While using solar energy produces no greenhouse gases or other pollutants directly, the production of industry-standard solar equipment, including PV modules and batteries, requires the use of many toxic materials which also need to be disposed of safely. Recently some progress has been made on the problem when cheaper and more common substances have been found as viable substitutes for more expensive and harmful ones, but there is still much to do.

Solar collectors if not placed wisely can create loss of habitat to plants and animals as well as cause other types of environmental damage. These too are areas that the industry needs to address in the coming years, along with tackling more basic cost and efficiency issues.

Recent Milestones in Solar and Battery Storage Technologies

In 2011, a solar power plant in Spain becomes the first to produce electricity for 24 hours straight, using molten salt storage.

In 2012, Stanford University Professor Xiaolin Zheng introduces flexible peel-and-stick-solar cells that can adhere like stickers to a window, the case for an electronic device, a car, or virtually any other surface.

In 2014, Scientists from Vanderbilt University announce the development of a strong structural super-capacitor that can be shaped into any form and operate under high mechanical stress. This means roof tiles or the fa├žade of your house could one day soon serve as storage for excess solar power collected at peak hours.

In 2015, scientists from Stanford University reported the invention of an aluminum-ion battery which is rechargeable, safer, less costly, and more environmentally friendly than disposable alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They believe that the new aluminum-ion battery will have a long life cycle with the ability to be recharged tens of thousands of times and thus will be better suited to the storage needs of the grid.

In July 2017, George Washington University researcher unveils a prototype for potentially the most efficient solar cell in the world, a stacked GaSb-based multi-cell device capable of capturing most of the energy across the full solar spectrum. It converts direct sunlight into electricity with 45% efficiency.

In August 2017, A University of Sydney team pioneers the use of a bimetallic oxide-graphene hybrid material as a bi-functional oxygen electro-catalyst, thereby creating a low cost solution for the problem of recharging zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air batteries are cheaper and far safer than lithium-ion batteries and have the potential to store many times more energy.

Photograph captured Helios in flight over the Pacific ocean.
Photograph captured Helios in flight over the Pacific ocean. | Source

Where Solar Power May Take Us in the Near Future

The US Department of Energy expects that in the near future all new construction in the US will combine energy efficient design and renewable energies such as solar power to produce net-zero buildings, (buildings with no reliance on traditional non-renewable energy sources like energy from coal or petroleum.)

Exciting new technologies currently under development will change the ways we use solar power. Vanadium batteries, graphene solar cells, and other innovative materials and technologies will allow us to collect and store solar energy more efficiently and at far lower costs.

As solar thermal, photovoltaic, and energy storage research and development continues and more consumers start supporting the industry politically and economically, the costs and harmful environmental impacts of solar thermal and PV energy will decline while the efficiencies will continue to rise. If governments, scientists, and individuals support and advance solar power now, one day photovoltaic systems will be able to supply most of the energy humans use on earth. This will mean safer, more affordable, cleaner, more reliable, non-conflict energy, and a sunnier future for everyone.


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    • promisem profile image

      Scott S Bateman 

      13 months ago

      I have been watching the improvement in solar cell efficiency in recent years along with the decline in average prices for solar panels.

      We may cross a tipping point at some point soon when it makes economic sense to transition all homes to solar instead of only the ones in areas of the country that have consistent sunshine throughout the year.

      It will be interesting to see the impact on climate change as we transition from carbon-based energy to renewables.

    • profile image

      Dan W Miller 

      2 years ago


      I am just so in awe of you. Nothing weird or personal. Just 10 hubs. 10 HUBS?!

      I have wanted some things so bad it hurts. They may even seem silly to most but being the best or recognized for talent at something you like is ... I've experienced it, can't describe it.

      (Stupid, I know.) Being an All-Star in Little League. I had three chances. Did it the third time. Then again as an adult. I'd miss, then finally after two years.

      Appearing on a big stage. I had to wait until I was 50 and had the time. THEN I dreamed of headlining. Again, had to wait and finally in a small show.

      Winning a Hub Of The Day is... so, so far... out of reach, it seems. You did it so easily. Winning an accolade from my peers on this site was SO thrilling. I tell other people and they don't get it or realize how difficult it is to attain one.

      But you wrote two words to me and coming from you was like a voice coming down from The Mountain.

      "You rock." (See? Stupid, I know.) I can't give up now. And the thing is, I really have nothing I want to attain more IN LIFE. I've done it all. The house, kids, etc. THIS hope I have, like the All Star and being a star on a stage, is deeper, more personal.

      I don't know if I can ever do it. But when your idol says, "You're golden." I just appreciate it more than you'll ever know. (Stupid. I know.)


    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Yes, solar power is potential energy of the future despite the difficulty in its hardneesing.

      Great and useful hub.

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Hello prairieprincess! Am so happy that you found my article on solar power useful. I am a geek especially when it comes to all sorts of tech, but innovations in cleaner energy is a subject very close to my heart.Thank you very much for the kind words (you made my day!) and support. Best to you and yours, Besarien

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting hub, with good information. I did not realize how long we, as humans, have been using solar power. I will be saving this article to Pinterest, to refer to it, again, because it contains so much information. Also, sharing with my followers. Well done!

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 

      2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Well researched, interesting and thought-provoking.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      What a fantastic article. It shows how behind the times my knowledge was of solar power. It has advanced so much since I last read about it years ago. I hope solar power takes the place of electricity. The Philippines has the third highest electric bills in the whole world!

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hello Adventuretravels! I'm right there with you on fracking and exploiting the Arctic. It's a dirty business in more ways than one.

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by Valeant! I appreciate your comment.

      Hi Akriti Mattu! Thank you!

      Au fait! Thanks for coming back and for all your kindnesses and encouragement.

    • Valeant profile image


      3 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Nice article.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 

      3 years ago from Shimla, India

      Tapping solar energy is extremely important. Excellent post.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      Having another look at this excellent article. Hope everyone reads it and learns more about this important subject.

    • Adventuretravels profile image


      3 years ago from UK

      I ma sure that we will get there in the end. Solar power or any other clean energy will save us. But at the moment we're still fighting corporate greed. I just wish they'd stop fracking and leave the arctic in tact! Great hub. Voted up and shared.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Outstanding Up, U/A/I.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      So packed with good information and a person has a much better understanding of this energy source after reading this excellent article. I can see why it was chosen for Hub of the Day. I think all of your articles that I have read so far should be HotDs.

      Voting this up and sharing.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent Hub, Besarien. Solar energy is one of many renewable energy resources we must tap to save our environment and to become energy independent.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is an outstanding article; deserves Hub of the day for sure!

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi aviannovice! I did hear about it. Apparently it isn't an uncommon problem there. I believe the official response had to do with them testing new ways to discourage flocks of birds from getting near the facility. One idea is blasting the sounds of predator birds like hawks and eagles. It is going to make the place even spookier to the locals. Hopefully it means no more dead birds.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Excellent overview and a great deal of information in such a small space about the benefits of solar power. On the downside, I recall the Mojave plant in CA last year was generating so much heat with their panels, that birds were being cooked in mid-air. Have you heard about this ad how it is being handled?

    • manatita44 profile image


      3 years ago from london

      A very well written and thoughtful article. I see that you got mostly 'awesome', but your ideas are noble and wholesome, so why not 'beautiful' as well?

      Essentially I liked your face and wanted to welcome you here, which I'll still do. Still, I was attracted - post reading your profile - about the 'Solar' Hub. I will be seeing my friends next week in NY, God's willing, and they will love you. We do a lot of work in poorer countries, and solar panels are important to us.

      God bless you this Easter Sunday, and also for you well researched and informative Hub. Much peace.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      An awesome hub on solar polar. Living in Arizona, I see many homes using solar panels. I would love to use solar energy, but the costs are quite prohibitive as of now, even with the tax credits. I should look into the leasing options though.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful hub Besarien. Solar power and other renewables are definitely the way of the future. We have a small off-grid solar array but need to expand it. It is good that prices are dropping now and batteries and panels are becoming more efficient. Governments have to begin concentrating more on solar than coal and gas and realise that it will create many more new jobs. Worthy HOTD, congratulations.

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image

      Joel Diffendarfer 

      3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Excellent and well presented article. Worthy of a re read and makes for a great classroom disscussion study. I'd love to see you explore the "other" energy alternatives in the same way. I believe all the sources mentioned in the poll are well worth considering and the utilization of all would solve many world energy problems. Great job, write on!!

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, you have made a brilliant hub. Could you write more coz you have the talent

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      One thing to think about ( those interested and have some extra cash) is a solar powered hot water system. If you are building new (or renovating) you can install one for about 5k (The main cost isn't the panels but the Hot water cylinder as they are specially built) but it will cut your electricity bills by at least 30% and usually pay for themselves within 7-10 years!

      In some parts of Australia it's mandatory that all new houses have to have them (We're hoping that law comes to NZ soon!)

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi Perspycacious! You are right about high demand. You might want to explore some DIY options that are relatively easy to make and install and will cost you far less in time and money. Lots of people are doing it for themselves and showing the rest of us how. I think it would be worth while for me to expand a bit on that facet of solar. Thank you for your input! A writer's critique is a bit like a payday but better! No taxes! :)

      Hi Frank! Thank you for the beautiful compliment! It means a lot.

      Hi Margaret! Thanks for your lovely comments. This topic is so huge that my main challenge was to try to present a rounded overview. I had read a lot of pro-solar articles that ignore the challenges ahead and didn't want to do that. Thanks again for taking time to let me know what you think!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Is production of efficient, lower cost PV meeting demand, or is demand keeping prices artificially high and seemingly out of the reach of average homeowners and small businesses?

      I want it, but the goal of low cost may not be served by everyone wanting it at the same time. Production capacity needs to be balanced with demand and go in tandem. That can be a tricky balancing act.

      That reality takes nothing away from this being a wonderfully educational effort as a Hub.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      this is a hub of the day poem I put my vote in.. useful.. and educational

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you for doing such a terrific, well-researched, well-informed job of presenting the compelling case for harnessing solar energy on a much wider scale. The lack of political support is largely the result of the mass ignorance about the overwhelming benefits. The majority of people, especially those who are not well educated, tend to reject or fear the unfamiliar. So I agree completely that a PR campaign that educates that majority is our best strategy for improving adoption of solar energy technologies. I also think that the concerns about the use of toxic materials to manufacture industry-standard solar equipment is valid and I am hopeful that the research into non-toxic and environmentally friendly alternatives will yield a solution that more of us can get behind unequivocally. Congratulations on your well earned Hub of the Day!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Here in New Zealand we use all four

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Thank you for your response that is what I would have thought too. So maybe it was just one of those stories put about by the harbingers of doom and gloom?

    • GNelson profile image


      3 years ago from Florida

      Very informative, thanks. A lot of common sense.

    • Richard1988 profile image


      3 years ago from Hampshire - England

      A really enjoyable hub. Solar energy is in so many ways a no-brainer in that we are fortunate enough to have a boundless (at least in human terms) source of energy bombarding us with all types of EM-radiation that we could be harnessing. The only issue that I can see for solar power in its current state is that the manufacture of P.V cells requires a supply of rare earth metals (e.g. tellurium which is 3 times rarer than gold). In terms of quantity of raw material available it should be possible to meet current demand however China controls about 95-97% of the supply and has clamped down somewhat on trade. An additional caveat is that the production of rare-earth metals in China is often done in appalling conditions raising ethical questions about some facets of renewable energy sources. That being said renewable energy must gain influence in our lives by necessity and the bumps in the road outlined here should not put people off advancing or supporting the technology in any way.

      p.s. In response to Dressage Husband regarding the 400 years of energy in the sun. I am not certain of this and don't mean to put words in anyone's mouth but I would take that 400 year figure to be based on our predicted power consumption combined with current solar cell efficiency and available land area that could be covered with solar cells.

      In other words our demand for energy is predicted to rise dramatically over the next decades and the earths surface area will remain constant. The amount of radiation from the sun hitting the earths surface will still be the same but (assuming solar technology remains at the same efficiency) after 400 years we would no longer have the space to put down more solar panels to meet any increase in energy demand after that 400 year mark.

      Sorry for waffling on a bit there I can only blame the author for writing a hub that was TOO engaging! ;)

    • moumitadasgupta86 profile image

      Moumita Dasgupta 

      3 years ago from Kolkata



      All this time

      The Sun never says to the Earth,

      "You owe me."


      What happens

      With a love like that,

      It lights the whole sky.”

      Sun has so much to give us, and we hardly utilise it in the right manner, harnessing the solar power is a little tribute to this cosmic body that how special it is to our life and with the development our thoughts and ideas to use the natural resources to save as well as use them in a measured way.

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi Dressage Husband! Thanks for your comment. As far as I am aware, the sun is going to keep sending light and heat to earth for another 5,000,000,000 years. We really don't take anything away from the sun by collecting the solar power that hits earth. The sun keeps sending it to us anyway. If we could collect and store all the solar energy that falls on earth in a single minute we'd have enough to satisfy the energy needs of everyone on the planet for a year.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      3 years ago from New York City

      I appreciate the thoroughness and accuracy of this article because it addresses what I consider the single most challenging issue facing us today - preserving our environment.

      Hard to say what's worse, the mountains of misinformation or the failure of political will in taking action. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that there are no quick cures, and our failures in recent years to do something to improve how we provide energy will hurt us for decades.

      I hope your article will play a role in helping people understand the situation enough to get our leaders moving forward with solutions. A good job for a good cause.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I voted this up as interesting, however the topic is not quite as cut and dried as it appears. I have seen scientific papers discussing solar power and the problem is it is not renewable. Once the sun has burned up that is it. One reason NASA have been sending so many satellites towards it is to establish the effects of solar devices on the solar power source.

      One of these that I saw pointed out that the sun only has sufficient energy to support our needs for 400 years if the world went fully solar. The issue is that like a battery the more we draw on the suns power the faster it will decline. Do you have a view on that?

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thank you! I'm pretty passionate about solar power. If we had cheap clean energy, we could fix a lot of what is wrong with the world. It would be a really good start.

    • Besarien profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi pateluday! Thanks for your comment! It is my hope that that pv cells increase in sensitivity too. That way in areas with less hours of sunlight and cloudier conditions enough electricity could be generated (an hopefully stored) to justify instillation costs in most places at least. There is so much exciting research going on all over the world. Plus, the technology we need is not so far from reach. It can only be a matter of time.

    • word55 profile image


      3 years ago from Chicago

      Very good research besarien, I hope it will become more economical for us to use. Seems like it will. We'll fight with you to get it more universally operating. I love this idea. Be blessed!

    • pateluday profile image

      Uday Patel 

      3 years ago from Jabalpur, MP, India

      Exciting prospects of cheap solar energy! Most of the countries that receive high degree of sunlight are ideal for this energy.

    • Cercle Marrakech profile image

      Cercle Marrakech 

      3 years ago from Marrakesh, Morocco

      Very good information

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      3 years ago from San Francisco

      Gratitude for your covering this topic and covering it so well. I am certain that if western countries subsidized solar the way we subsidize oil, not only would we provide millions of jobs, but we could outfit every home and business in the country with solar energy.

      Congratulations on your Hub of the the Day. Well earned.

    • Lareene profile image


      3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I enjoyed this hub and learned a lot too.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      Very well done on this informative hub. I would love to go green all the way harnessing the sun's power. Congrats on HOTD!

    • Keisha Hunter profile image

      Keisha Hunter 

      3 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica

      Great article!

    • envllc profile image

      Thomas Harry 

      3 years ago from San Antonio

      Great hub! I am in the midst of upgrading my home to solar power. Although its still a bit expensive, I have a feeling in the next couple of years more and more people will move to solar. San Antonio experiences a few power fluctuations during mid summer heat and is pushing solar pretty hard right now. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is an interesting, informative, and well written article. Saw a 60 Minute segment once about a start up company introducing a product that looked like a small black cube, currently used as a collection of cubes to power several large corporate buildings at considerable savings. Cost is still a big factor though. Even considered for my home, but initial cost and maintenance are expensive. But, it is the future.

    • techygran profile image


      3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      As has already been mentioned, this is an informative hub with a masterful presentation. I've been meaning to learn more about solar energy, but haven't quite gotten to it yet. Thank you for giving me the nudge with so many fascinating facts, such as how Germany operates over a quarter of the world's solar total, and the availability of stick-on solar panels. I had also not considered how solar panels can displace entire eco-systems at this point.

      My organic-farming son has a number of solar panels and they live off-the-grid quite effectively. They also look to diversify their energy capture (using wind and geo-thermal as well as growing methods) but at this point it seems that solar power is the most provident. Now I might be able to start a conversation with him.

      Thank you for the energy that went into this post and congratulations on your HOTD!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It took me 825 hubs to win a HOTD. You did in with two. :) Well done my new friend. I hope we see more writing from you soon.

    • handymanbill profile image


      3 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Solar is really the best bet. I just wonder how well it works the farther North that you go where you get less direct sunlight. Great Hub

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      Eventually, my money's on solar. If only you could get a couple of human selfies like Trump, Cuban, etal to go GaGa over solar you might have the impetus you need. Imagine if a group of billionaires gets together, makes a deal with a small town, takes them completely off the grid and puts them completely on solar. Make a reality TV show on all the problems they have and all the solutions they come up with and TV could be useful for once. They would need to do things like string transmission lines, store power for overnight use, etc.

    • cinderella14 profile image


      3 years ago from Philippines

      You covered a very interesting subject. I personally trying to learn more about solar power considering that our country is prone to environmental hazards which sometimes would cause to having no electricity for a long period. But I don't think that our country is ready for this technological advancement. I can see several complaints on solar powered products that I guess needs to be addressed by the proper authority. I hope our government could also look into this matter.

    • mySuccess8 profile image


      3 years ago

      Fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) are the largest source of electrical energy, but being non-renewable, will run out. As you have emphasized and clearly explained in the article, recent major advancements in solar power technology have led to its decreasing costs and improved operating cost-effectiveness. We look forward to see more solar panels being installed for individual homes, with the increased awareness of the need to convert to renewable energy sources. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      This is really interesting, and great reading! it always fascinates me how solar power works, the potential of it and how it can be used all over the world, so great hub, and as billy said, such a good start!

    • Andrew Bing profile image


      3 years ago from Romania

      Nice in depth analysis and presentation of solar energy potential and applications. I had no idea that people were dabbling with solar energy so far back as the 1870s.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good information, and excellent job of presenting it. I can tell you, without a doubt, that this is infinitely better than my first hub. :) Well done!


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