•  Albert Einstein received a 1921 noble prize for experiments on the photoelectric effect.
  •  10,000 U.S. households are now using solar energy to power their homes.
  • On his African journey 200 years ago, John Herschel (a british astronomer) was able to cook food using solar power.
  • The first large scale solar power plant was opened in 1982 in California.
  •  Solar power comes in two major varieties: solar thermal and solar photovoltaic.
  • Solar thermal is less technologically complex than solar photovoltaic and is much easier to DIY.
  • In 2007, more Chinese homes use solar hot water than in all other countries combined.
  • The price of solar photovoltaic panels has dropped by at least 200% in the past 30 years.
  • The price of solar photovoltaic panels is currently continuing to drop.
  • The lowest solar photovoltaic prices per watt are usually for thin film.
  • The lowest solar photovoltaic module retail price is $1.25/watt (Oct. 2011) for thin film from a German retailer.
  • Current (Nov. 2011) low prices are partly due to a glut of polysilicon on the market from Chinese manufacturers, some of whom are going out of business.
  • There are pollution problems at some Chinese plants producing polysilicon.
  • Germany uses more solar photovoltaic power than the USA despite having a climate less adapted to it.
  • Photosynthesis has been in use on Earth for 3.5 billion years.
15 Things You Don’t Know About Solar Power

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