The Earth receives an incredible supply of solar energy. The sun is a 4 billion year old fusion reactor providing enough energy in one minute to supply the world's energy needs for one year. In one day, it provides more energy than our current population would consume in 27 years. It is often quoted that, "The amount of solar radiation striking the earth over a three-day period is equivalent to the energy stored in all fossil energy sources."
Solar energy is a free and inexhaustible resource. A Swiss scientist, Horace de Saussure, built the first thermal solar collector in 1767, which was later used to heat water and cook food. The first commercial patent for a solar water heater went to Clarence Kemp of the US in 1891. This system was bought by two California executives and installed in one-third of the homes in Pasadena by 1897.
There are several types of solar and local Solar San Antonio is a great place to start to learn about them and why to go solar. Their Bring Solar Home initiative is great to help homeowners who want to 'go solar'.
CPS Energy (San Antonio's public utility) is a leader in utility scale solar. CPS Energy announced a contract with OCI Solar to build 400 MWs of utility-scale solar by 2017, powering 10 per cent of homes in the San Antonio area.
Texas Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency: DSIRE provides a database of state and utility incentives and policies for renewables and energy efficiency information DSIRE's dtabase of the State of Texas Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency are located here: Texas Incentives/Policies
A Residential Solar Glossary of terms is located on our Residential Solar section