As a technology that has been around for well over a century, solar power is neither novel nor new.
The power of the sun is what makes life on Earth possible. Efforts to harness solar energy in concentrated form have long been a human pursuit. Solar technology has existed since the 19th century and has received substantial government support since at least the 1970s. Despite vast amounts of subsidies, solar power comprises less than 1 percent of US electricity generation and should no longer be propped up by taxpayer dollars.
Initial Development of Solar Power
The development of solar cell technology, or photovoltaic (PV) technology, began during the Industrial Revolution when French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerellar first demonstrated the photovoltaic effect, or the ability of a solar cell to convert sunlight into electricity, in 1839. About four decades later, American inventor Charles Fritts created the world’s first rooftop solar array in New York in 1883, one year after Thomas Edison opened the world’s first commercial coal plant.