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Did you know that the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year? Solar energy has amazing potential to power our daily lives thanks to constantly-improving technologies“. (USDOE, 2013)

Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth — 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use” (USDOE, 2016)

If you didn’t know this already, intuitively, then you need to get outside more, especially near the summer solstice.
NOAA Sun
Navajo solar carport US DOE
world SolarGIS © 2014 GeoModel Solar
CC-BY-SA: World SolarGIS © 2014 GeoModel Solar

Even the nuclear power station pushers at the US DOE have to admit that there’s nothing like the sun! Nuclear power on earth is nothing but a lethal, inferior, and costly attempt to be as gods. As Robert Oppenheimer remarked during the first nuclear bomb test: “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_Oppenheimer

From the US DOE:
Solar Energy Technology Basics
August 16, 2013 – 4:37pm
“Did you know that the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to handle the entire world’s energy consumption for a full year? Solar energy has amazing potential to power our daily lives thanks to constantly-improving technologies.

Solar energy systems come in all shapes and sizes. Residential systems are found on rooftops across the United States, and businesses are also opting to install solar panels to offset their energy costs. Utilities, too, are building large solar power plants to provide cleaner energy to all customers connected to the grid.

There are two main types of solar energy technologies—photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). You’re likely most familiar with PV, which is utilized in panels. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow.

The second technology is concentrating solar power, or CSP. It is used primarily in very large power plants and is not appropriate for residential use. This technology uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricityhttp://www.energy.gov/eere/energybasics/articles/solar-energy-technology-basics

From 1975 to 2008, more solar energy patents were linked to DOE than to any other organization in the world.http://energy.gov/eere/renewables/solar
Solar Powering American DOE HUD
June 6, 2016 – 5:51pm
by Erin R. Pierce

The solar industry is changing rapidly as it experiences unprecedented growth. Here are 6 facts that may surprise you about this increasingly popular source of power.

6. Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth — 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

5. The first silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954. On the first page of its April 26, 1954 issue, The New York Times proclaimed the milestone, “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams — the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.

4. The space industry was an early adopter of solar technology. In the 1960s, the space industry began to use solar technology to provide power aboard spacecraft. The Vanguard 1 — the first artificial earth satellite powered by solar cells — remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit –logging more than 6 billion miles.

3. Today, demand for solar in the United States is at an all-time high. The amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than 23 times over the past eight years — from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 27.4 GW at the end of 2015. That’s enough energy to power the equivalent of 5.4 million average American homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The U.S. is currently the third-largest solar market in the world and is positioned to become the second.

2. As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses. Still, the biggest hurdle to affordable solar energy remains the soft costs — like permitting, zoning and hooking a solar system up to the power grid. On average, local permitting and inspection processes add more than $2,500 to the total cost of a solar energy system and can take up to six months to complete. The SunShot Initiative’s soft costs program works to make it faster and cheaper for families and businesses to go solar.

1. California’s Mojave Desert is home to Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, the world’s largest operating solar thermal energy plant. It uses concentrating solar power (CSP) technology to focus 173,500 heliostats, each containing two mirrors, onto boilers located in three power towers. The plant, which came online in 2014, has a gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW). CSP technology is unique in that it allows for solar energy to be stored for use after the sun sets — a key focus for our recent research and development efforts — which addresses some of the concerns over delivering solar power when and where it is needed most.” http://www.energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sustainable-and-holistic-integration-energy-storage-and-solar-pv-shines
Explore our projects in solar energy on the Sunshot Initiative’s project map

http://www.energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sunshot-solar-projects-map
http://www.energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energy