Solar is not a new technology. It has been around for decades. Although it was not until the 1980s when the technology became accessible to business owners and homeowners, solar panels have had a rich history. When looking at the solar panels of days passed, we often look at the science. But what we do not know much about are the people who made the solar industry what it is today. However, a film “Solar Roots – The Pioneers of PV” brings people in front of the science.
The Story of Solar
The story of the start of the modern solar photovoltaic (PV) industry told from the people who lived it is “Solar Roots – The Pioneers of PV.” The short video is, unfortunately, not quite available to the public. However, many renewable energy advocates and solar training professionals have been introduced to the film at various trade shows.
The film was produced by Jeff Spies, one of the founding members of Solar Energy International, and brings to life the true story of how a small group of backwoods engineers and business hippies brought solar panels into homes around the world and into the hands of consumers.
Jeff Spies, partnered with director Jason Vetterli, spent 2 years interviewing over 50 PV Pioneers throughout the country. Spies states, “The story starts in the mid 1800s with the early scientific discoveries in photovoltaics, and quickly progresses through the Bell Silicon Cell in the 1950, the rapid deployment of PV in the space race in the ‘60s, and the debut of terrestrial PV in the 1970s, before finally focusing on the colorful group of men and women who gave birth to the PV home power movement in the early ‘80s which….eventually grew to define the modern day solar PV industry.”
Proud of Our Solar History
You might be asking, why introduce a movie that nobody can see? As solar professionals, we find ourselves constantly talking out the history of residential solar PV to interested customers. The science tends to take front stage when we talk about the solar industry. But, our industry is also full of incredibly innovative, creative, and intelligent pioneers that have a bit of a lost history. We are excited to have a documentary that showcases the brilliance behind the social movement of solar. The people who make up the history of our industry deserve to be celebrated and recognized. We are proud to be part of the solar industry and we are proud of the history. Be on the look-out for more posts. As soon as the video is available to the public, we will let you know. But, for now – this short movie trailer gives a great look in to what you can expect.
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