The sun's rays may have been the very first energy source utilized by man. There is evidence that primitive societies captured the heat energy from the sun to heat their homes and for cooking, two uses that remain common today in some parts of the world. Legend has it that in the third century B.C.E., Archimedes used a giant lens to concentrate the sun's rays and set fire to an invading Roman fleet, utilizing a principle that today is used to generate solar energy. The use of the sun's rays as a light source is also ancient, and the principle of using sunlight to light the interiors of buildings is enshrined in law in some countries.

For instance, Great Britain recognizes a “right to light” ...

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