History of Solar Power
Solar power first came into being in 1958 with its use on the Vanguard I satellite. Using solar power cells as a back-up power source, the Vanguard was able to continue transmitting for over a year after its chemical battery ran out of power. Because of this achievement, many American and Soviet satellites began using solar power cells as well. However, due to the high prices of creating these cells, solar power was not widely available until the early 1970s. By then, however, solar power had become an established source of power for many telecommunications satellites around the world.
Due to the 1973 oil crisis, a rapid rise in solar power production was marked throughout the 1970s and 1980s. This higher demand, along with a decrease in production costs, brought down the costs of solar power cells for home and commercial use. Between 1984 through 1996, growth of solar power cells stayed at a moderate 15 percent per year.