Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Solar Energy

Solar Energy Quotes (17 quotes)

Energie is the operation, efflux or activity of any being: as the light of the Sunne is the energie of the Sunne, and every phantasm of the soul is the energie of the soul.
[The first recorded definition of the term energy in English]
In Platonica: A Platonicall Song of the Soul (1642). In this book of poems, More uses the word energie many times, and in the opening section, 'To the Reader'. The definition quoted appears at the end of the book in 'The interpretation of the more unusual names or words that occurre in the foregoing Poems.'
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (135)  |  Being (41)  |  Definition (192)  |  Energy (214)  |  Light (347)  |  Operation (121)  |  Phantasm (3)  |  Soul (166)  |  Sun (276)

[Editorial cartoon showing an executive sitting behind a desk with a Big Oil nameplate]
You want Coal? We own the mines.
You want oil and gas? We own the wells.
You want nuclear energy? We own the uranium.
You want solar power? We own the er..ah..
Solar power isn't feasible.
Mike Peters in Dayton Daily News. Please contact webmaster if you know the date of publication. It was on the cover of the book Solar Gas (1979) by David Hoye.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Oil (2)  |  Coal (45)  |  Feasibility (3)  |  Gas (50)  |  Mine (16)  |  Nuclear Energy (11)  |  Owner (5)  |  Well (14)

By blending water and minerals from below with sunlight and CO2 from above, green plants link the earth to the sky. We tend to believe that plants grow out of the soil, but in fact most of their substance comes from the air. The bulk of the cellulose and the other organic compounds produced through photosynthesis consists of heavy carbon and oxygen atoms, which plants take directly from the air in the form of CO2. Thus the weight of a wooden log comes almost entirely from the air. When we burn a log in a fireplace, oxygen and carbon combine once more into CO2, and in the light and heat of the fire we recover part of the solar energy that went into making the wood.
The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems (1997), 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (190)  |  Burning (17)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Cellulose (3)  |  Earth (638)  |  Energy (214)  |  Fireplace (2)  |  Heat (100)  |  Link (42)  |  Log (5)  |  Mineral (41)  |  Photosynthesis (19)  |  Plant (200)  |  Respiration (12)  |  Sky (124)  |  Soil (64)  |  Sunlight (18)  |  Water (293)  |  Wood (49)

George Stephenson, with a sagacity of mind in advance of the science of his day, answered, when asked what was the ultimate cause of motion of his locomotive engine, ‘that it went by the bottled-up rays of the sun.’
From 'Fuel', Lecture delivered to the British Association at Bradford, printed in Nature (25 Sep 1873), 8, 443.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (165)  |  Answer (249)  |  Cause (285)  |  Engine (29)  |  Locomotive (8)  |  Motion (160)  |  Ray (41)  |  Sagacity (8)  |  George Stephenson (10)  |  Sun (276)  |  Ultimate (84)

I have satisfied myself that the [cosmic] rays are not generated by the formation of new matter in space, a process which would be like water running up a hill. Nor do they come to any appreciable amount from the stars. According to my investigations the sun emits a radiation of such penetrative power that it is virtually impossible to absorb it in lead or other substances. ... This ray, which I call the primary solar ray, gives rise to a secondary radiation by impact against the cosmic dust scattered through space. It is the secondary radiation which now is commonly called the cosmic ray, and comes, of course, equally from all directions in space. [The article continues: The phenomena of radioactivity are not the result of forces within the radioactive substances but are caused by this ray emitted by the sun. If radium could be screened effectively against this ray it would cease to be radioactive, he said.]
Quoted in 'Tesla, 75, Predicts New Power Source', New York Times (5 Jul 1931), Section 2, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (16)  |  Cosmic Ray (6)  |  Emit (6)  |  Hill (20)  |  Investigation (176)  |  Lead (160)  |  Matter (343)  |  Penetration (18)  |  Power (366)  |  Radiation (25)  |  Radioactivity (28)  |  Space (257)  |  Star (336)  |  Sun (276)  |  Water (293)

I will set ambitious goals—to see 500 million solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable electricity to power every home in America within 10 years.
In Hillary Clinton, 'Hillary Clinton: America Must Lead at Paris Climate Talks', Time (29 Nov 2015).
Science quotes on:  |  Ambitious (4)  |  America (87)  |  Electricity (136)  |  Goal (100)  |  Home (84)  |  Power (366)  |  Renewable Energy (13)

If we do not learn to eliminate waste and to be more productive and more efficient in the ways we use energy, then we will fall short of this goal [for the Nation to derive 20 percent of all the energy we use from the Sun, by 2000]. But if we use our technological imagination, if we can work together to harness the light of the Sun, the power of the wind, and the strength of rushing streams, then we will succeed.
Speech, at dedication of solar panels on the White House roof, 'Solar Energy Remarks Announcing Administration Proposals' (20 Jun 1979).
Science quotes on:  |  2000 (3)  |  Efficiency (30)  |  Elimination (18)  |  Goal (100)  |  Harness (19)  |  Hydroelectricity (2)  |  Imagination (275)  |  Light (347)  |  Productive (13)  |  Stream (40)  |  Strength (81)  |  Success (250)  |  Technology (222)  |  Together (79)  |  Waste (65)  |  Wind Power (9)  |  Work (635)

If you look at a tree and think of it as a design assignment, it would be like asking you to make something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, provides habitat for hundreds of species, accrues solar energy’s fuel, makes complex sugars and food, changes colors with the seasons, creates microclimates, and self-replicates.
In audio segment, 'William McDonough: Godfather of Green', WNYC, Studio 360 broadcast on NPR radio (18 Mar 2008) and archived on the station website.
Science quotes on:  |  Accrue (3)  |  Assignment (10)  |  Carbon (49)  |  Change (364)  |  Chemical Engineering (4)  |  Color (99)  |  Complex (95)  |  Creation (242)  |  Design (115)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Fix (25)  |  Food (154)  |  Fuel (31)  |  Habitat (14)  |  Nitrogen (19)  |  Oxygen (55)  |  Season (26)  |  Sugar (14)  |  Tree (171)  |  Water (293)

Mostly, I spend my time being a mother to my two children, working in my organic garden, raising masses of sweet peas, being passionately involved in conservation, recycling and solar energy.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (252)  |  Conservation (143)  |  Garden (34)  |  Involve (48)  |  Mass (78)  |  Mother (71)  |  Organic (55)  |  Passionately (3)  |  Pea (4)  |  Raise (35)  |  Recycling (4)  |  Spend (43)  |  Sweet (14)  |  Time (595)  |  Work (635)

Sir Edward has calculated that quick-growing Indian eucalyptus trees have a yield of nine and one-quarter tons of wood an acre a year. As the wood contains 0.8 per cent of the solar energy reaching the ground in the tropics in the form of heat, Sir Edward has suggested that in theory eucalyptus forests could provide a perpetual source of fuel. He has said that by rotational tree planting and felling, a forest of twenty kilometers square would enable a wood consuming power station to provide 10,000 kilowatts of power.
In 'British Hope to Use Green Trees of Jungles As Source of Power for New Steam Engine,' New York Times (27 Jun 1953), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Renewable Energy (13)  |  Tree (171)

The fuel in the earth will be exhausted in a thousand or more years, and its mineral wealth, but man will find substitutes for these in the winds, the waves, the sun's heat, and so forth. (1916)
From Under the Apple-Trees (1916), 308.
Science quotes on:  |  Earth (638)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Fuel (31)  |  Heat (100)  |  Mineral (41)  |  Renewable Energy (13)  |  Substitute (28)  |  Sun (276)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Tidal Power (3)  |  Wave (68)  |  Wealth (66)  |  Wind (80)  |  Wind Power (9)  |  Year (299)

The power of man to do work—one man-power—is, in its purely physical sense, now an insignificant accomplishment, and could only again justify his existence if other sources of power failed. … Curious persons in cloisteral seclusion are experimenting with new sources of energy, which, if ever harnessed, would make coal and oil as useless as oars and sails. If they fail in their quest, or are too late, so that coal and oil, everywhere sought for, are no longer found, and the only hope of men lay in their time-honoured traps to catch the sunlight, who doubts that galley-slaves and helots would reappear in the world once more?
Science and Life (1920), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Coal (45)  |  Energy (214)  |  Oil (39)

The sun's rays are the ultimate source of almost every motion which takes place on the surface of the earth. By their heat are produced all winds, and those disturbances in the electric equilibrium of the atmosphere which give rise to the phenomena of terrestrial magnetism. By their vivifying action vegetables are elaborated from inorganic matter, and become in their turn the support of animals and of man, and the sources of those great deposits of dynamical efficiency which are laid up for human use in our coal strata. By them the waters of the sea are made to circulate in vapor through the air, and irrigate the land, producing springs and rivers. By them are produced all disturbances of the chemical equilibrium of the elements of nature which, by a series of compositions and decompositions, give rise to new products, and originate a transfer of materials. Even the slow degradation of the solid constituents of the surface, in which its chief geological changes consist, and their diffusion among the waters of the ocean, are entirely due to the abrasion of the wind, rain, and tides, which latter, however, are only in part the effect of solar influence and the alternate action of the seasons.
from Outlines of Astronomy (1849), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Photosynthesis (19)  |  Weather (32)

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
Often seen, though without citation, for example, Cutler J. Cleveland and Christopher G. Morris, Dictionary of Energy (2009), 578. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Industry (109)  |  Oil (39)  |  Open (66)  |  Owner (5)  |  Sun (276)

There is deposited in them [plants] an enormous quantity of potential energy [Spannkrδfte], whose equivalent is provided to us as heat in the burning of plant substances. So far as we know at present, the only living energy [lebendige Kraft] absorbed during plant growth are the chemical rays of sunlight… Animals take up oxygen and complex oxidizable compounds made by plants, release largely as combustion products carbonic acid and water, partly as simpler reduced compounds, thus using a certain amount of chemical potential energy to produce heat and mechanical forces. Since the latter represent a relatively small amount of work in relation to the quantity of heat, the question of the conservation of energy reduces itself roughly to whether the combustion and transformation of the nutritional components yields the same amount of heat released by animals.
Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen (1847), 66. Trans. Joseph S. Fruton, Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (1999), 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Conservation Of Energy (27)  |  Energy (214)  |  Heat (100)  |  Plant (200)

There’s probably 5000 times more solar energy than the humans will ever need. We could cover our highways with solar collectors to make ribbons of energy, and I think that it’s really the largest job creation program in the history of the planet that’s in front of us. It’s a celebration of the abundance of human creativity combined with the abundance of the natural world.
In audio segment, 'William McDonough: Godfather of Green', WNYC, Studio 360 broadcast on NPR radio (18 Mar 2008) and archived on the station website.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundance (21)  |  Collector (9)  |  Cover (37)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Highway (13)  |  Human (550)  |  Job (43)  |  Natural World (25)  |  Need (287)

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Natures inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
Edison in conversation Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931), quoted as a recollection of the author, in James Newton, Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987), 31. The quote is not cited from a print source. However, in the introduction the author said he “kept a diary in which I noted times and places, key phrases, and vivid impressions.” He also “relied on publications by and about my friends, which jogged my memory.” Webmaster has found no earlier record of this quote, and thus suggests the author may have the gist of what Edison said, but is not quoting the exact words uttered by Edison, although quote marks are used to state what Edison said.
Science quotes on:  |  Bet (10)  |  Chop (5)  |  Coal (45)  |  Energy (214)  |  Farmer (26)  |  Fence (9)  |  Fuel (31)  |  House (43)  |  Inexhaustible (13)  |  Money (142)  |  Oil (39)  |  Power (366)  |  Source (91)  |  Sun (276)  |  Tackle (6)  |  Tenant (2)  |  Tide (24)  |  Wait (58)  |  Wind (80)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.