Famed actor James Earl Jones, best known for his roles in Field of Dreams and as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars, will present a segment on solar power on Front Page, a short documentary series for public television stations. The segment will focus on social challenges, research and technological advancement of solar energy.
Among other things that will be discussed in the segment are whether the days of rooftops with separate solar panels are numbered. Scientists and researchers are moving toward a future where solar power is integrated into buildings in unique ways to power homes and produce surplus energy. For instance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently hinted that SolarCity, which Tesla is acquiring, has hinted that the company will introduce a new solar rooftop product. “It's a solar roof as opposed to a module on a roof,” he previously said.
During the segment Jones and his colleagues at Front Page will discus growing public concern about rising energy costs and interest in clean energy as well as investors’ interest in solar research and implementation. This includes research into building integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) that could be integrated into buildings’ structures and designs. BIPV can serve multiple functions by being included invisibly in windows, or as part of a building’s paint, and protecting a building’s structure from high winds or extreme weather, while producing and clean energy for the facility’s use.
While Jones is not necessarily endorsing solar power there is a growing trend among celebrities and other figures in power to endorse solar and other clean energy technologies. Even the Vatican has integrated solar power into some of its facilities but big names from Hollywood like Will Farrell and Scarlett Johanson are taking part in BP’s Solar Neighbor Program which gifts a solar power installation to low income consumers every time a star goes solar.
Jones’ popularity as an accomplished actor and other well-known organizations like the sports teams continue can help popularize solar power and bring it into the zeitgeist. For instance, Super Bowl 50, played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA featured the first stadium to open as a LEED Gold Certified building. Most recently, the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Constellation Energy have collaborated to build a 400 kilowatt rooftop solar array at the team’s practice facilities in Owings Mill, MD. Moreover it’s helping such organizations save money. According to the Ravens and Constellation, the facility will save the environment “The equivalent emissions of nearly 13,000 tailgaters with propane grills, or 67 passenger vehicles annually.”Tweet