Over the years solar energy has gained popularity as an alternate source of power this is because of the many benefits and advantages that have been related to it. The discovery of solar energy is associated with Edmund Becquerel in 1838. He observed and then published his findings on the nature of materials, which are able to change light to energy. Despite his findings, they were only treated as interesting aspects but were not even pursued further.
The major discovery of solar energy was made by Auguste Mouchout between the years of 1860 and 1881. He was able to make a patent design meant for a motor powered by solar energy. With financing from the French Monarch, Auguste was able to design a device, which was able to change solar energy to mechanical steam power. This made it possible for the very first steam engine to be operated. Auguste Mouchout did not stop there; later on he was able to connect a steam engine to a refrigerating device. This in turn was able to illustrate that the rays of the sun can be fully utilized to be able to make ice. This illustration earned him a medal as a result. The glory was short lived though because England began to supply coal to the French and hence the solar energy discovery was not treated as a priority.