Solar Power – Fun Facts

October 23, 2011

Solar Energy Explained

Solar PowerFun facts about solar power are popular at any age. People want serious information about solar power, but sometimes, even the serious can be expressed in fun facts.

Fun facts on solar power include things such as the fact that, in a single hour, enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface to meet the entire world’s energy needs for a full year. Imagine! That information comes from the American Solar Energy Society.

Here are some more fun facts on solar power.

12 Fun Facts on Solar Power

* As early as 1921, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for experiments with solar power and photovoltaics. It was awarded to Albert Einstein.

* When silicon is taken from just one ton of sand, and used in photovoltaic solar power panels, that silicon can produce as much electricity as 500,000 tons of burning coal.

* In the U.S., there are more than 10,000 homes that get their energy entirely from solar power.

* Nearly 200 years ago, a British astronomer by the name of John Herschel cooked food with solar power during an journey to Africa.

* California opened its first large solar power plant in 1982.

* Solar power can cut water bills by more than 50 percent each year in a home where a solar model replaces the electric water heater.

* The price of photovoltaic (PV) solar power panels has dropped 200 percent over the last 30 years, according to the Department of Energy. Owners now pay between 10 and 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.

* A study by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) showed that solar power conditions were close to perfect (99 percent) in San Francisco on June 14th, 2000. On that day, 100,000 customers in that area lost power. Solar power could have provided all they needed.

* Another USDOE study showed that the roofs of California’s city and county buildings, if covered with solar PV panels, could generate 200 megawatts of clean electricity! Cover California’s school roofs with solar power panels, and you add 1,500 megawatts more to the state’s peak power supply.
* In California, covering every available commercial and industrial roof with solar power panels could generate all of the electricity needed in that state during the daytime.

* Germany is making the best use of solar power, even though its climate includes many cloudy days.

* It takes only about 8 minutes for solar energy to travel from the sun to the earth.

Suggestion for school teachers: Have a contest to see which group of students can unearth the most fun facts on solar power.

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