History of Solar Energy

John Perlin

Author, Lecturer, Consultant — Solar Energy & Forest Preservation

Phone: 805.569 2740 • eMail: jp@john-perlin.com

John Perlin

Publications

Books

Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy, (John Perlin, sole author), available in bookstores mid September, 2013.

From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. Ann Arbor, MI: aatec publications, 1999 (cloth); Harvard University Press, November, 2002 (paper) [Translated into Italian and serialized in Photovoltaic Magazine ]

A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989 (cloth); Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991, 5th Printing, 2001 (paper). New Norton Edition, Countryman Press Imprint, fall, 2005. [Translated into Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish]

A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Energy. (With Ken Butti.) New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. [Translated into Japanese and Spanish]

Book Chapters

Window Essay. “Solar Cell.” Energy Dictionary, San Diego, California: Elsevier Science. 2005.

“The History of Inorganic Solar Cells.” S. Sun and S. Sariciftci, editors. Organic Photovoltaics. New York: Marcel Decker. 2004.

“Solar Energy, History of” and  “Wood Fuel, History of.” Entries in C. Cutler, editor. Encyclopedia of Energy. San Diego, California: Elsevier. 2004.

 “Wood.” Entry in S. Krech III, JR Mcneill, & C. Merchant, editors. Entry in Encyclopedia of World Environmental History. New York: Routledge. 2004.

“Deforestation.” Entry in K. Christensen & D. Levenson, editors. The Encyclopedia of Asia. New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons. 2003.

“Forests and Deforestation” and “Timber and Lumber Industry.” Entries in J. Mokyr, editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History. New York: Oxford University Press (2003).

“A Life of Wildness.” In Robert Glenn Ketchum, A Legacy of Wildness: The Photographs of Robert Glenn Ketchum. New York: Aperture Press, 1993.

“The History of Terrestrial Uses of Solar Energy.” (With Ken Butti.) In J. Kreider & F. Krieth, editors. SolarEnergy Handbook. New York: McGraw Hill, 1981.

Articles

Over thirty published articles in the following publications: Ad Astra, American Heritage’s Invention & Technology, Chicago Magazine, CoEvolution Quarterly (now Whole Earth Review), Home Power, Journal of Science Education and Technology, New Shelter, Refocus Solar Age, Solar Law Reporter, Solar Today, Whole Earth Review, & World & I.

Selected Articles

 “Good as Gold: The Silicon Solar Cell Turns 50,” Solar Today, January/February 2004, pp.24-27 (lead article).

 “Solar Hot Water History: Nothing New under the Sun,” Home Power 100, April & May 2003, pp.64-67.

“The Silicon Solar Cell Turns Fifty,” Home Power, June & July 2003, pp.54-57.

“Solar Power: The Slow Revolution,” American Heritage of Invention and Technology, summer 2002, pp.20-25.

“The French Connection: The Rise of the PV Water Pump,” Refocus: The International Renewable Energy Magazine, January/February, 2001, pp.46-47.

“The Silent Revolution Continues,” Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2001, pp. 137-145.

“Saved by the Space Race,” Solar Today, July/August, 1999, pp. 18-20.

“Soaring with the Sun: Solar-Powered Flight,” The World & I, August 1999, pp.166-173 (cover article).

“Burning Mirrors: Snagging Pure Fire from the Rays of the Sun,” Whole Earth, winter 1999, p. 16.

“Running Out: 4200 Years of Wood Shortages,” Coevolution Quarterly, Spring, 1983, pp.18-25.

“Solar Water Heaters in Los Angeles 1891-1930 (with Ken Butti), Coevolution Quarterly, fall, 1977, pp.1-15 (featured story).

Op-Ed Pieces

“Solar Electricity Could Help California,” San Diego Union-Tribune, December 27, 2000.

“The Tree of Life,” Santa Barbara News-Press, “Voices from Santa Barbara,” April 19, 2000.

“Letting the Sun Shine on Our Energy Needs,” Santa Barbara News Press, “Perspectives,” August 22, 1999.

Brochures

Understanding Solar Electricity, 2003; Californiasolarcenter.org.

Web text

2500 Years of Solar Energy; Califroniasolarcenter.org

Multiple web articles for the web magazine, miller-mccune.com

Prefaces

Richard Komp, Practical Photovoltaics, Ann Arbor, MI: aatec publications, 1981–2003.

Brenda & Robert Vale, The New Autonomous House: Design and Planning for Sustainability, London, United Kingdom: Thames and Hudson, 2000.

AWARDS

London Times Book Review’s "Editor's Intersting Hardbacks -1990: A Forest Journey.

Publication of the Year—1990: A Forest Journey. The Geographic Society of Chicago.

Selection – 1991 “Sampler of the worldwide whirl planned for EarthDay- Time Magazine

Harvard University Press Classic in Science and World History: A Forest Journey -1996

Harvard University Press 100 Books for Every Reader’s Bookshelf: A Forest Journey -2004

Harvard University Press 100 Great Books: A Forest Journey- 2004

EXHIBITS

“Fiftieth Anniversary of the IEEE PV Specialists Conference,” 35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Seattle, Washington, June 19-24, 2011

“The 50thAnniversary of the First Solar-Powered Satellite – The Vanguard.” “Solar 2008.” 33rd  IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. San Diego, California.. May 11-16 2008; World Renewable Energy Congress. Glasgow, Scotland. July 19-25, 2008; 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Confernece, September 1-4, 2008, Valencia, Spain.

“From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity,” “Solar Summit,” Veteran’s Memorial Hall, San Francisco, California, September 2003.

Traveling Exhibit, “A Forest Journey,” Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September, 2003 –

“Fiftieth Anniversary of the Discovery of the Silicon Solar Cell.” 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion. Osaka, Japan. May 11-18, 2003; American Solar Energy Society. Solar 2003. Austin, Texas. June 21-23, 2003; 19th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference. Paris, France. June 7-11, 2004.

“Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture & Technology” (with Ken Butti). California Museum of Science & Industry (now California Science Center). Los Angeles, California. November 1980 - March 1981.

DOCUMENTARIES

The Power of the Sun: One Century since Einstein’s Photon/A Half Century of Modern Photovoltaics. Principal Researcher, Narrative and Script Writer. University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Physics/Inca Productions, Mill Valley, California. August 2003 - July 2005.

Sunrise. Narrator, and Consultant, Provided Script/Images. U.S. Department of Energy's Million Solar Roof Program & Arizona Department of Commerce Energy. April, 2003 (for streaming video, see www.jpc.uni-linz.ac.at/os/indes-os.html ["History of Solar Cells (John Perlin)].

TECHNICAL FORUMS & Workshops

Lead Speaker, “50th Anniversary of the Silicon Solar Cell,” Solar Forum, San Francisco, California, May 2004.

Keynote Speaker, “Solar Electricity: The People and the Applications,” Energy Outfitters 2004 California Renewable Energy Technical Forum, Sacramento, California, March 2004.

Instructor, “How Solar Cells Work,” 1st Solar Schoolhouse Summer Institute, Santa Barbara, California, July 2003.

LECTURES

Invited Lecture, “Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy,” Institute for Energy Efficiency, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, October 23, 2013.

Invited Lecture, “6,000 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology,” Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, March 21, 2013.

Invited Lecture, “A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology,” Community Colloquium, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, January 31, 2011.

Inaugural Lecture, Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests Seminar Series, “A Forest Journey: Wood and Civilization,” School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, October 15, 2010.

Inaugural Lecture, Development Studies Institute Lecture Series, “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization,” London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, October 8, 2010.

Invited Speaker and Session Leader. “100 Years Solar Thermal Collectors: From the First Hot Water Heater System to the Multi-Megawatt System.” EuroSun 2010: International Conference on Solar Heating, Cooling and Building. Graz, Austria. October 1, 2010.

Luncheon Speaker. “The 50thAnniversary of the First Solar-Powered Satellite – The Vanguard . 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. San Diego, California. May 2008.

Invited Speaker, “A Forest Journey,” University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois. February 15, 2007.

Invited Speaker. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” University of Illinois. Champaign, Illinois. February  17, 2007.

Initial Speaker. “Growing Up: Integrating Policy, Science, and Management,” Invited Speaker Series. Department of Forestry. University of Kentucky. Lexington, Kentucky. February 13, 2007.

Panelist, with Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. “The Power of the Sun.” May 2006.

Invited Speaker. “A Forest Journey.” College of Natural Resources. Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, Virginia. December 6, 2006.

Straker Centennial Lecturer. “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization.” College of Forestry. Oregon State University. Corvallis, Oregon. October 26, 2006. For streaming video see http://www.cof.orst.edu/starkerlectures/.

Panelist, with Nobel Laureates Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger, Santa Barbara International Film Festival. “The Power of the Sun.” February 5 and 7, 2006. Santa Barbara, California.

Panelist, with Nobel Laureates Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger. West Coast Premiere, “The Power of the Sun.” November 29, 2005. University of California, Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, California.

Roddis Memorial Lecturer. “A Forest Journey.” November 16, 2005. University of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin

Panelist, with Nobel Laureates Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger. World Premier: The Power of the Sun. Solar Power 2005. Solar Electric Power Association. October 7, 2005. Washington, DC.

Invited Speaker. “Einstein’s Photon and Photovoltaics,.” International Solar Energy Society World Conference. August 10, 2005. Orlando, Florida.

Invited Speaker. “John Muir and Gifford Pinchot: Myth and Reality,” Working Toward Common Goals in Sustainable Forest Management. The Divergence and Reconvergence of European and American Forestry. A Colloquium in Commemoration of the Centennial of the United States Forest Service. Gray Towers Historic Site, Milford, Pennsylvania. June 27-28, 2005.

Keynote Speaker. “Solar 101.” North State Renewable Energy Conference. California State University at Chico. Chico, California. March 10, 2005.

Invited Speaker. “A Forest Journey.” Yale Forest Forum. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut. January 20, 2005.

Panelist, with two Nobel Laureates, Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger. “Past, Present, and Future of Photovoltaics.” Solar Electric Power Association Conference. San Francisco, California. October 20, 2004.

Invited Speaker. “Fiftieth Anniversary of the Silicon Solar Cell.” World Renewable Energy Conference and Expo. Denver, Colorado. August 28-September 3, 2004.

Keynote Speaker, “The Use of Energy and Its Environmental Consequences,” Energy Efficiency Summit, The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, North Carolina, July 26, 2004.

Keynote Speaker. “50th Anniversary of the Silicon Solar Cell.” SolWest. John Day, Oregon. July 23-25, 2004.

Keynote Speaker. “Forests and Solar Energy.” Energy Conservation and Education Summit. North Carolina Arboretum. Asheville, North Carolina. July 13, 2004.

Plenary Speaker. “The Photon and Photovoltaics.” 19th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference. Paris, France. June 11, 2004.

Keynote Speaker. “A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization..” Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, Virginia. March 15, 2004.

Invited Speaker. “Incontro con lo Storico Statunitenese dell’Energia Solare John Perlin. Biblioteca Flaminia. Rome, Italy. October 4, 2003.

Keynote Speaker. “50 Years of Practical Photovoltaic.” Science Bazaar 2003 in the Field of Organic and Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria, Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells. Linz, Austria. September 25-26, 2003.

Keynote Speaker. “Happy Anniversary, Silicon Solar Cell!” Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair.” Fort Collins, Colorado. September 14, 2003.

Keynote Speaker. “50 Years of Practical Photovoltaics. Iowa Energy Expo 2002. Hiawatha, Iowa. September 6, 2003.

Plenary Speaker, “Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy,” Solar Energy for Peace, Istanbul, Turkey, August 19, 2003.

Keynote Speaker. “The Discovery and Use of the Silicon Solar Cell.” Illinois Renewable Energy Fair. Oregon, Illinois. August 10, 2003.

Plenary Speaker. “The Discovery of the Silicon Solar Cell,” 3rd World Photovoltaic Conference on Energy Conversion, Osaka, Japan, May 12, 2003.

Keynote Speaker. “The Story of Solar Concentrators.” International Conference on Solar Electric Concentrators. 29th IEEE PV Specialists Conference. New Orleans. May 20, 2002.

Panelist. “Solar Cells and Space. 39th US Space Congress. Cape Kennedy. May 2, 2002.

Closing Panelist. “2500 Years of Solar Architecture.” Holistic Options for Planet Earth

Sustainability. University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. April 23, 2002.

Keynote Speaker. “A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Evolution of the Earth and Civilization.” Greening of the Campus IV: Moving to the Mainstream. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. September 21, 2001.

Keynote Speaker. “Environmental Fluency: Learning the True Story of the Earth?” Holistic Options for Planet Earth Sustainability. University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. April 22, 2001.

Presenter. “Solar Fluency.” 2001 Partnership for Environmental Technical Education (PETE). St. Louis, Missouri. March 16, 2001.

Invited Lecturer. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” National Renewable Energy Laboratories, Golden, Colorado. February 2001.

Keynote Speaker. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” SolarExpo 2000. Verona, Italy, December 2000.

Invited Presenter. “The Rise of Green Energy.” Bioneers 2000. San Rafael, California. October 2000.

Keynote Speaker. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” Southwest Renewable Energy Fair. Flagstaff, Arizona. September 2000.

Keynote Speaker. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” SolWest Renewable Energy Fair. John Day, Oregon. July 2000.

Keynote Speaker. “History of Solar Technology” and “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.”Australia and New Zealand Solar Energy Society Annual Meeting, Solar ’99. Geelong, Victoria, Australia. December 1999.

Invited Speaker. “From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity.” The Pacific

Energy Center, Solar Seminars. San Francisco. September 1999.

Invited Discussion Leader. “Renewable Energies.” Newswire Environmental Journalism Conference, Washington, DC. June 1999.

Invited Earth Day Speaker. “A Forest Journey” and “The History of Photovoltaic.” Bates and Bowdoin Colleges, Maine. April 1998.

Invited Speaker. “The History of Photovoltaics.” 1st International Photovoltaic Building Integrated Conference. Boston. March 1996.

Invited Speaker. “Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Energy.” University of Maine, Augusta, Maine. February 1994.

George David Aiken Memorial Lecture. “A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization.” University of Vermont, Burlington. November 1992.

Keynote Speaker. “A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization,” “Historia das Florestas: A Importancia da Madeira no Desenvolvimento da Civilzacao” [Bilingual Presentation].Brazilian Forestry Association, Sixth Congress, Sao Paulo. September 1990.

Earth Day 1990 Speaker. “History of Deforestation and Civilization’s Relationship with the Forest.” University of San Diego, California. April 1990.

Earth Day 1990 Speaker. “Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Energy.” University of Oregon, Eugene. April 1990.

Keynote Speaker. “Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Energy.” International Solar Energy Society Conference. San Diego, California. April 1989.

Invited Speaker. “A Forest Journey.” Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. October 1989.

Invited Lecturer. “2500 Years of Solar Architecture.” University of Southern California, Los Angeles. March 1983.

Invited Symposium Facilitator. “The Past, Present, and Future of Solar Energy.” New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. October 1985. [Followed by similar lectures throughout New Mexico.]

Invited Speaker. “2500 Years of Solar Architecture.” University of Kentucky, Lexington. November 1982.

Invited Speaker. “Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Energy.” University of Cincinnati, Ohio. November 1982.

Invited Speaker. “One Hundred Years of Solar Water Heating.” Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. November 1982.

Director’s Lecturer. “Let it Shine: 2500 Years of Solar Energy.” Solar Energy Research Institute (now National Renewable Energy Laboratories), Golden, Colorado. April 1980.

Invited Speaker. “Greek and Roman Solar Architecture.” Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, California. March 1980.

Invited Panelist. “The Future of Energy.” United Nations International School/United Nations Student Conference: “Energy, Development, and the Environment.” New York. February 1980.

Current Employment

Analyst, Department of Physics University of California, Santa Barbara.

Director, Implementation of Solar Energy / Energy Efficiency, Student Affairs, University of California, Santa Barbara (Overseeing multiple solar installations).

References

Dr. Henry Yang, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Barbara, 805 893 2231.

Dr. Alan Heeger, Nobel Laureate, Professor of Materials, Department of Physics, UC Santa Barbara 805 893 3184

Mr. William McTague, Executive Director of Resource Planning, Information Technology, and Sustainability, University of California, Santa Barbara (John Perlin reports to Mr. McTague regarding implementation of Solar Energy / Energy Efficiency Projects for Student Affairs) 805 893 6060

Dr. Philip Lubin, Professor, Department of Physics, UC Santa Barbara 805 893 8432 (John Perlin reports to Dr. Lubin)

© Copyright 2000 - 2014 All rights Reserved John Perlin