Search - NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun on DVD

NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun
NOVA Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun
Director: Steven Latham
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2007     0hr 56min

In the face of steeply rising oil prices and political turmoil in the Middle East, there is new urgency in finding a solution to our uncertain energy future. Breakthroughs in new materials and ingenious designs for solar c...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Steven Latham
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/31/2007
Original Release Date: 07/30/2003
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 0hr 56min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Elaine D. from FORT MYERS, FL
Reviewed on 3/21/2009...
Instead of the doom and gloom of other movies I have watched, this one offers positive solutions to our renewable energy challenges. Very informative and interesting!

Movie Reviews

Solar Power - learn what's here now and what's coming...
Sandy Winnick | Chicago, IL United States | 11/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a very timely film... energy is one of the biggest issues of our time. This film opened my eyes to what is happening in the world of solar... the technology, the costs, the obstacles, what's coming in the future. This really should be seen by a lot of people, including our elected officials and in schools. The info about solar in the Mojave desert and in Germany is amazing."
Hopefully, We Will Be Saved By the Sun!
Loyd E. Eskildson | Phoenix, AZ. | 11/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The sun has been identified as the energy source for tomorrow - since at least the 1950s. So far, however, it has failed to go beyond minor use in the U.S. Experts in the film state that the sun's unreliable nature is its biggest drawback - not only rainy day problems, but evening shutdowns as well.

The good news is that homes generating solar electricity while staying wired to the electrical grid don't need batteries to store power for evenings and cloudy days. More good news is the fact that solar power is most effective during the hours when power requirements are greatest - afternoons.

The bad news is that solar generation of electricity is still expensive - costing $15-28,000 for a home, up to $45,000 if solar water heating is also included. All the solar power generated in the U.S. at this point only allows the elimination of two coal plants; it's less than 1% of total electricity generated.

Germany, on the other hand, offers a vision of what could happen - they are on a path to generate about one-third of their electricity from renewable sources (wind + solar) by 2020. This is because government provides a substantial subsidy to solar power generation, on top of power in Germany costing about twice that of the U.S. (The DVD did not explain why this is.)

Improved technology hopefully will also bring major benefit. Current solar technology only converts red-spectrum rays into electricity; newer (much-more expensive) models can convert two or even three colors. More promising is the use of nanotechnology, though this wasn't well explained.

Finally, we can also reduce our carbon footprint through improved efficiency - eg. newer air conditioners.

Bottom Line: Waiting to see what happens with global warming and rising energy costs is not an option. We need to develop renewable (from the sun) sources now. Unfortunately, the U.S. has instead been reducing funds for solar research."
A captivating, enlightening, and ultimately hopeful viewing
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 07/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun is a DVD episode of the acclaimed public television documentary series that seeks to answer the question: can solar power help save the Earth from the depredations of global warming? Caught amid rising oil prices and turbulence in the Middle East, the possibilities for making solar power more efficient and affordable range from individuals adding solar panels to their roofs to industrial-scale projects in the Mojave desert using massive arrays of mirrors. Germany is the world's leading developer of solar power, seeking to provide 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Nanotechnology advances could further enhance solar power's potential in the future. A captivating, enlightening, and ultimately hopeful viewing experience, highly recommended. 56 minutes, color."