• 5 billion BC The birth of the sun….allegedly
  • 3200 BC First recorded use of wind energy. The sail is invented by the Egyptians.

  • 213 BC Archimedes saves Syracuse (Sicily) reportedly by setting fire to Roman ships using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays into a primitive ‘Sun-laser’.
  • 200 BC Invention of the windmill, in China.
  • 100 BC The Greeks use hydropower to turn water wheels that grind wheat into flour.
  • 1000 AD Windmills used extensively in the Middle East.
  • 1774 French engineer Bernard Forest de Blidor publishes a treatise on water energy called Architecture Hydraulique.
  • 1839 The discovery of solar photovoltaics. Edmund Becquerel notices that sunlight absorbed in certain materials produces electricity.


  • 1881 A brush dynamo generator is connected to a turbine in a flour mill to provide street lighting at Niagara Falls, New York, using direct-current technology.
  • 1882 The first hydroelectric plant is finished, in Appleton, Wisconsin.
  • 1891 Clarence Kemp of Maryland invents the Climax, a solar water heater. A 32 gallon unit sells for $25.
  • 1920 Hydroelectric power provides 25 percent of all U.S. electrical generation.
Photo courtesy Jeremiah Castro: freeimages.com/photo/kerr-dam-139483
  • 2005 Launch of the Global Wind Energy Council, in Brussels.


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