Solar Energy Evolution
PV technology was developed more than a century ago, and became practical in 1954, when Bell Labs invented the silicon solar cell. The New York Times called it “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.”
The first significant use of solar power was in satellites and spacecraft, which could not carry fuel. Today, the most common applications are in generating electric power for homes, businesses, and utility providers.