This survey of renewable energy sources appropriately begins with our sun. Not only is it the fount of most other renewable sources, solar energy has the potential to become our greatest energy resource.
Increased energy consciousness has led to more passive solar energy being used in construction, which harnesses the light and heat of the sun without any additional technology. A building so designed can reduce its energy demand by up to 85% compared to a conventional building.
One of the newest and fastest growing application of solar power is photovoltaics or PV; this allows for direct generation of electricity from semiconducting solar panels or thin films. PV’s ability to provide electricity on a small local scale creates some problems for the centralized model of big plant energy production which has more than dominated the field since Edison. This chapter focuses on the legal issues encountered in protecting solar rights at individual building sites under a distributed generation model.