In 1972, the Solar Energy Panel took a broad look at solar energy across the whole field to see just what could be done with this energy source. Maybe the era of acquiring energy without regard to cost and without regard to consequences of using it is beginning to come to a close and maybe we ought to start looking at the newer sources of energy, even though we need every bit of energy we can get from every source. I am not trying to say we don't need gas, oil, coal and nuclear energy. We are not going to use solar energy at the North Pole in the middle of winter and we are probably not going to use fossil fuel energy in places where we can get a reasonable return on solar energy.

The Solar Energy Panel labored hard and really got this field in good perspective and I would like very much to show you what we came up with in that labor. First of all, we identify three areas where we thought that solar energy could have a major impact on future needs. First, thermal energy for buildings, that is the heating and cooling of hot water associated with dwellings, as well as commercial buildings. Due to the fact that there has been a great deal of work done in laboratories at most universities, we felt that this could be brought into commercial readiness (commercial readiness means that we could begin mass producing commercial heating units within five years). Clearly, it appears to be still further away and will take some more development to bring it about, so we estimate by the latter part of the 1970's we will have good systems that will combine both heating and cooling.

Meeting Name

1st UMR-MEC Conference on Energy Resources (1974: Apr. 24-26, Rolla, MO)

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings


Solar and Wind Energy

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 1974 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

26 Apr 1974