NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun

NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun

NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun

  • In Saved by the Sun, NOVA poses the burning question: Can solar power help save the Earth from the ravages of global warming? In the face of steeply rising oil prices and political turmoil in the Middle East, there s new urgency and enthusiasm for finding ways to make solar power more efficient and affordable. From individuals installing solar panels on their roofs to industrial-scale projects in

In the face of steeply rising oil prices and political turmoil in the Middle East, there is new urgency in finding a solution to our uncertain energy future. Breakthroughs in new materials and ingenious designs for solar collectors are transforming the technology into a vastly cheaper, more efficient alternative. NOVA presents the latest thinking from solar enthusiasts and skeptics as it investigates cutting-edge research developments. The film introduces viewers to the scientists and businesspeople who are racing to make solar power practical—for lighting, heating, and running power plants.

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3 Responses to “NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun”

  1. 11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Solar Power – learn what’s here now and what’s coming…, November 9, 2007
    By 
    Sandy Winnick (Chicago, IL United States) –

    This review is from: NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun (DVD)

    This is a very timely film… energy is one of the biggest issues of our time. This film opened my eyes to what is happening in the world of solar… the technology, the costs, the obstacles, what’s coming in the future. This really should be seen by a lot of people, including our elected officials and in schools. The info about solar in the Mojave desert and in Germany is amazing.

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  2. Midwest Book Review Reply July 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A captivating, enlightening, and ultimately hopeful viewing experience, July 8, 2007
    By 
    Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) –

    This review is from: NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun (DVD)

    Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun is a DVD episode of the acclaimed public television documentary series that seeks to answer the question: can solar power help save the Earth from the depredations of global warming? Caught amid rising oil prices and turbulence in the Middle East, the possibilities for making solar power more efficient and affordable range from individuals adding solar panels to their roofs to industrial-scale projects in the Mojave desert using massive arrays of mirrors. Germany is the world’s leading developer of solar power, seeking to provide 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Nanotechnology advances could further enhance solar power’s potential in the future. A captivating, enlightening, and ultimately hopeful viewing experience, highly recommended. 56 minutes, color.

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  3. Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" Reply July 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hopefully, We Will Be Saved By the Sun!, November 8, 2007
    By 
    Loyd E. Eskildson “Pragmatist” (Phoenix, AZ.) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: NOVA: Solar Energy – Saved by the Sun (DVD)

    The sun has been identified as the energy source for tomorrow – since at least the 1950s. So far, however, it has failed to go beyond minor use in the U.S. Experts in the film state that the sun’s unreliable nature is its biggest drawback – not only rainy day problems, but evening shutdowns as well.

    The good news is that homes generating solar electricity while staying wired to the electrical grid don’t need batteries to store power for evenings and cloudy days. More good news is the fact that solar power is most effective during the hours when power requirements are greatest – afternoons.

    The bad news is that solar generation of electricity is still expensive – costing $15-28,000 for a home, up to $45,000 if solar water heating is also included. All the solar power generated in the U.S. at this point only allows the elimination of two coal plants; it’s less than 1% of total electricity generated.

    Germany, on the other hand, offers a vision of what could happen – they are on a path to generate about one-third of their electricity from renewable sources (wind + solar) by 2020. This is because government provides a substantial subsidy to solar power generation, on top of power in Germany costing about twice that of the U.S. (The DVD did not explain why this is.)

    Improved technology hopefully will also bring major benefit. Current solar technology only converts red-spectrum rays into electricity; newer (much-more expensive) models can convert two or even three colors. More promising is the use of nanotechnology, though this wasn’t well explained.

    Finally, we can also reduce our carbon footprint through improved efficiency – eg. newer air conditioners.

    Bottom Line: Waiting to see what happens with global warming and rising energy costs is not an option. We need to develop renewable (from the sun) sources now. Unfortunately, the U.S. has instead been reducing funds for solar research.

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