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NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 collectors are transforming the technology into a vastly cheaper, more efficient alternative. NOVA presents the latest thinking from solar enthusiasts and skeptics as it investigates cutting-edge research developments. The film introduces viewers to the scientists and businesspeople who are racing to make solar power practical—for lighting, heating, and running power plants.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Steven Latham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PWQPAW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Winnick on November 9, 2007
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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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 8, 2007
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.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on November 8, 2007
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Salcedo on April 23, 2011
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This DVD is one of the best films I ever so on Alternative Energy. If you are looking to learn more on what the future will bring this is the DVD to watch and get all excited about clean energy. I have watched many great films on Alternative Energy but this one by far is the best. I showed it to my Photovoiltaics class and my Instructor love it, by far the best film he ever so. Class gives this A+++++ enjoy. NOVA: Solar Energy - Saved by the Sun
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Excellent video reviewing and bringing right up to date all forms of
renewable energy including solar thermal, photovoltaics, wind, geothermal,
etc. Takes you inside other countries, most notably Germany, to show how
far they have progressed with solar energy to reduce their dependance on
carbon based fuels. The U. S. must get with this approach, big time, to
help solve global warmning, provide jobs, and provide better national
security.
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By mike on September 8, 2010
We need to exhaust might and thaught of old policy - and this DVD may be a help anda pilot for building up a green world and a revenge to GW Bush for plundering thirld worlrd and destroyin ecologic wonders of the evolution. I hope this kind of corruption we'll bury totally on the way to solar age
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By M. Chavez on January 24, 2011
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A must have for anyone who wants to be more informed about clean alternatives to fossil fuels. It is very informative and gives you the big picture with regards to energy consumption. It came in excellent condition and shipped fast. Thanks
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