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Present Status Of Solar Energy Education

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.803.1 - 6.803.15

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D. Yogi Goswami

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1433

Present Status of Solar Energy Education D. Yogi Goswami

Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, POB 116300, Gainesville, FL 32611-6300 USA Tel: 352/392-0812; Fax: 352/392-1071 Email:


This paper briefly describes the history and status of solar energy education. The energy awareness in the early 1970s led to a concerted research and development effort in solar energy applications. Solar energy education followed these efforts at the advanced college level. However, R&D slowed down in the mid 1980s and solar energy education at the college level followed that trend. Over the last three decades developments in solar energy applications have made it possible to use solar energy for most of our energy needs and even some environmental needs. However, despite the worldwide awareness of environmental degradation, the present public policy does not favor the use of solar energy over conventional fuels. Many solar energy applications do not appear cost effective using conventional financial tools. Therefore, there is a need to educate public policy makers, financial professionals and the general public. This presents an opportunity to develop educational materials, short courses and seminars, to educate public policy makers and financial professionals who are extremely important to increase the use of solar energy, yet who are least familiar with it. There is a great deal of K-12 solar energy educational materials that has been developed in different parts of the world. Advanced information technologies can be used to compile and make this material available throughout the world.

1. Introduction

The oil crisis of the mid 1970s was mainly responsible for creating the awareness to develop solar energy applications. Large-scale solar energy research programs were started at universities in the U.S.A. and other parts of the world. Research programs at these universities created a need and an opportunity for solar energy education for science and engineering students at the graduate level. Solar energy courses at these universities were eventually expanded to include advanced undergraduate students. Some architecture schools included passive solar design in their curricula. The oil crisis of the mid 1970s turned into an oil glut and the consequent drop in oil prices in the mid 1980s. It is debatable as to what factors combined to bring this about; however, energy conservation efforts played some part in it.

The temporary disappearance of an energy crisis coupled with the fact that there were very few job opportunities in solar energy caused a decline in student interest in solar energy Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Goswami, D. Y. (2001, June), Present Status Of Solar Energy Education Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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