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SEPCO's blog on all things renewable and green

Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 1

Posted by SEPCO

10/25/11 9:30 AM

Industrial RevolutionThe Industrial Revolution was a time full of changes. These changes occurred in agriculture, textile and metal manufacture, transportation, economic policies and social structure. It changed and helped so many different industries throughout the world. It also was responsible for technological changes and advances that increased production, efficiency and profits. There is no telling where we would be today without the developments that occurred during the Industrial Revolution.

But this series isn’t about the Industrial Revolution as much as it is an alternative way of looking at things. What if inventors looked at renewable innovations instead of the way that had actually developed? What if instead of developing coal mines they developed solar farms? What if instead of increasing farm production to meet the needs of a huge population, more people had learned how to organically farm on their own land? I’m not saying the developments were in anyway bad, but what if, in some alternate universe, the production of renewable energy was developed before the implementation of coal, oil, and nuclear power?

Photovoltaic EffectA bit of a late start, but Alexandre Bequerel discovered the photovoltaic effect in 1839. This was followed by Aleksandr Stoletov developing the first solar cell that was later patented by Melvin Severy 60 years after the process had been discovered. What if Alexandre had kept working on the advancement of the photovoltaic process and figured out how to create solar cells? Figuring out how to implement the solar cell to generate electricity would have improved the quality of life for homeowners and businesses all around due to the renewable aspects associated with the solar energy. And look, no need for power companies to feed electric to buildings.

First Light Bulb

Around the same time Humphry Davy was working on the first electric light and had developed the electric battery. Wow, light for the buildings and batteries for the storage of the energy. Thomas Edison actually got the light bulb correct by finding a filament that did not actually burn up and had a life span.

Solar Village TreehuggerSo before the end of the Industrial Revolution we had an idea and a good start on solar power, light sources, and batteries for backup. If this was implemented instead of coal power I wonder how the world would look today. Would you see solar implemented on every roof as a standard? Or would it actually be the roof like the solar shingles that are being developed and implemented today? Would efficiency be the norm instead of what everyone is trying to upgrade to? What do you think the world would look like?

This is the first part of a series. Keeps an eye out for the next section coming in 2 weeks. Leave feedback and your own ideas to include.

Ref:
The Invention of the Light Bulb
The Industrial Revolution Yale
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution MSU 

 

Want to read Part 2? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 2 

Or how bout Part 3? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 3

 

Here's the latest Part 4: Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 4

Topics: Green Ideas

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