Human beings have been attempting to capture the energy of the sun, from the beginning of civilization. There are records of Leonardo Da Vinci studying the sun and methods to harness the energy of the sun in the 15th century. However, the solar energy was harnessed for the first time in France when they needed an alternative source of energy much before the seventies shortage of fuel.
The first solar cells able to turn solar power into electricity were made by Charles Fritz in 1883. However, the actual use of these cells to warm water in the house was made in the later part of the 1880s. Since then research on solar energy has been going on consistently. In the 19th century, scientists became aware that the non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels would soon be finished and it was then that they seriously started researching the possibilities of solar power.
When the three scientists Calvin Fuller, Daryl Chaplin and Gerald Pearson from Bell Labs discovered that silicon was a very good semiconductor, solar cells and panels were made of silicon. With these small steps, the use of solar energy has become so popular today that it is playing a significant role in protecting the environment and reducing the dependence on non-renewable energy sources. The research and development continue today and scientists are trying to find better ways to improve the quality and decrease the cost of manufacturing solar systems across the world. Hence we can say that in the future the solar energy will largely replace the use of fossil fuels and others.