The history of residential solar photovoltaics (solar pv) is closely connected to the “back to the land” movement that started in the late 1960’s. These “back to the land” migrations attracted hippies that were intent upon living off the land. They were focused on wise resource management due to frugal finances, and they were focused on sustainability due to a respect for natural resources. The popular hotspots in this “back to the land” movement included Northern California, central Oregon, the Ozarks, and the Rockies. These hippie havens produced many solar pioneers in the 70’s and 80’s that would make a major contribution to the development of the PV market.

Here are a few of the stories of the characters that colored the history of the solar PV movement.

david_katz1David Katz (AEE Solar CEO & founder) grew up in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland in the early 70’s. After getting his degree in Electrical Engineering he continued to operate the business that helped finance his college education – Volkswagen Beetle mechanic. His mother was not too thrilled that her son who had just earned his degree in Electrical Engineering was continuing to wrench on Beetles, so unbeknownst to David, she submitted an application on his behalf to the Federal Government, and wouldn’t you know… View Full Article »