I’ve put together a short list of the best solar energy videos I’ve found to date. The most obvious criteria is that they must be informative videos about solar energy. The videos must be over ten minutes and they should have a “general” kind of flavor as opposed to a specific aspect of solar energy, for example DIY. I’ll continue to update this page as new videos are discovered.
State of the Solar Industry – 2012 Year in Review
Sponsor by SEIA, the Solar Industries Energy Association, this video is an in-depth analysis of what’s happening today the U.S. solar industry.
Modern Marvels – Renewable Energy
Modern Marvels from the History Channels has one of the most informative videos about solar energy I’ve encountered to date. It was first aired way back in 2006. I love this video becausse most of the content is still relevant and it shows how much progress has been made in solar. In the video Fed Ex boasts that it has largest array of solar panels for its commercial facilities in the world with a whopping 904 kilowatts. That was in 2005. Interestingly, they were feeding back to the grid even then. Compare that to today where Apple has 20 megawatts for its datacenter. The fist part of this video is about solar energy, as it stood in 2006, but its goes on to detail the state of other renewables at the time. Watching this video will definitely give you a leg up if you take our History of Solar Energy Quiz.
Here Comes the Sun
Released in 2008 from Backlight Productions, Here Comes the Sun gives powerful insight into the solar revolution. Follows how developments in Germany lead to real change in the industry. This video illustrates the how energy markets are changing and how solar has become a viable source of energy. Five years ago, an unnamed woman in the video predicted that solar power would reach a gigawatt. I’m happy to report that she was wrong. But in a good way. According to wolframalpha, solar now powers over 100 gigawatts of the world’s electricity! Interviews with CEO’s and company executives gets you inside the industry in a way no other solar video does
SciShow – Solar Energy
Scishow is a popular youtube channel with a collection of science facts and explanations from Hank Green. Like all of the videos on the channel, fast talking, snap edits, and a bit of humor help keep the viewer engaged. Unfortunately, I disagree with his assertion that solar is expensive. I don’t think did he or his staff did the best homework here. Here’s just one example of his error. He does however, summarize the history and the mechanics of solar quite adeptly.
Bill Gross on Solve for X
Bill Gross is a leading thinker in solar. In this video he demonstrates storage techniques and methods of reducing the cost of solar. His ideas are cornered around concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power plants that use mirrors to concentrate on a small area of PV cells. Gross often compares investment in solar tech to the investments made to send a man to the moon. His ideas are based on real science and could have an impact in the immediate future.