10 Solar Energy Facts You Likely Never Knew

  1. A solar PV system is now installed every 4 minutes
  2. In the 1960s, the space industry was an early adopter of solar technologies and began to use it to provide solar power aboard their spacecraft. The Vanguard 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite powered by solar cells and remains the oldest manmade satellite in orbit – logging more than 6 billion miles.
  3. The typical price of a solar panel in 1975 was about 227 times higher than it is today at $101.5/watt versus $0.447/watt.
  4. About 99% of new electricity generation capacity added in the United States in Q1 2016 came from renewable energy sources; 64% from solar.
  5. The country currently leading annual solar power installations is China, with the U.S. remaining at #3.
  6. The U.S. solar energy industry added more solar jobs in 2015 than the U.S. oil and gas extraction and pipeline industries combined; growing 12x faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.
  7. PV solar energy is the only form of electricity that does not require any moving parts.
  8. There are 4 sets of solar arrays located on the International Space Station visible from Earth.
  9. It takes less than 9 minutes for the Sun’s rays to reach Earth, even though we’re 90 million miles away.
  10. Just one kW of power generated from solar panels prevents: 150 lbs of coal from being mined, 300 lbs of CO2 from being emitted and 105 gallons of water from being consumed.