Discovery Guides Areas


Why Not the Sun? Advantages of and Problems with Solar Energy
(Released December 2008)

  by Ethan Goffman  


Key Citations

Visual Resources

News & Scholars


Visual Resources eLibrary Resources
eLibrary Resources
  1. Photovoltaic Solar Energy Panels

    Catching rays: These solar-energy panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it to electricity that can be used to run household or office appliances. Drawbacks to widespread use of these panels (also called photovoltaic panels) include high cost and inefficient storage. When those problems are overcome, solar energy could become a clean alternative to fossil fuels in many areas of the world.

    Copyright 1995, Enteractive, Inc., All rights reserved.

  2. Mr Mingde Zhou who manages an elderly persons hostel, shows solar panels that supply power and hot water on the roof of his building in Shanghai 01 March 2006. China plans to halve energy use to heat its buildings over the next five years, saving dwindling fuel resources and helping the global environment, officials said recently. Energy-efficient construction includes the insulation of windows, doors and walls; low-energy lighting; better heating, gas and electrical systems; and alternative technologies like solar water heaters and terrestrial heat. China recently introduced the Renewable Energy Law which stipulates that solar energy is a priority and real estate developers are required to consider it in the design of future developments.

    MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

  3. Alternative Energy in Germany

    BUERSTADT, GERMANY - MAY 13: The roof of a warehouse, equiped with solar panels, is seen on May 13, 2005 in Buerstadt, Germany. The 50,000 square meter system with a capacity of 4,5 megawatts per year represents the largest roof based solar system worldwide.
    Photo by Ralph Orlowski/2005 Getty Images, Inc.

  4. US President George W. Bush (R) walk past a parabolic dish during a tour of the Department of Energy's National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. The dishes are used to concentrate solar power and convert the thermal energy into electricity. Bush is making a day-visit to Albuquerque, NM where he will visit the Sandia National Laboratories and sign an energy bill.
    AFP or Agence France-Presse, 2005
Resources taken from Proquest's eLibrary

Charts and Tables
  1. Ken Primrose (BLM) and Ed Teel (NRCS) discuss the solar power unit.

    Mobile Solar Water Pumping
    Primrose, K.; Delaney, G., Rangelands, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 57-59. Apr 2007.
  2. CSP potentials for seawater desalination assuming that plants will be operated exclusively for water desalination by reverse osmosis and multi-effect desalination

    Concentrating solar power for seawater desalination in the Middle East and North Africa
    Trieb, F.; Muller-Steinhagen, H., Desalination, Vol. 220, No. 1-3, pp. 165-183. Mar 2008.
  3. Spectral irradiance and power contained within various solar spectra . . .

    Enhancing the performance of silicon solar cells via the application of passive luminescence conversion layers
    Richards, B S, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 90, No. 15, pp. 2329-2337. 2006.
Tables taken from ProQuest's Illustrata

  1. Maine Solar House.
    (The Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology, Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation, Washington, DC, USA)

  2. Solar Power: A Shining Example.
    (Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ, UK)

  3. Fact sheet on solar photovoltaic energy (PDF).
    (Intermediate Technology Development Group, The Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development, Bourton Hall, Bourton-on-Dunsmore, RUGBY, CV23 9QZ, United Kingdom)

Websites taken from ProQuest's Illustrata