Solar Power

Solar panels in a field

Solar power is light or heat radiation collected from the sun's rays that is converted into electrical power. It is a renewable, clean, sustainable and alternative energy source. Solar power is also very versatile — it can be used to power private homes as easily as it can power satellites.

Solar power is harnessed through solar panels. which are made up of an array of photovoltaic cells constructed from semiconductor material. The two discrete layers inside these cells contain an imbalance of electrons and allow for the free movement of electrons. When sunlight strikes these cells, it knocks these electrons loose from their atoms. This allows them to flow as electricity into metal contacts. Solar power can also be harnessed by allowing sun rays to heat a wide range of materials that then transform it into energy.

Solar energy has been touted as a highly pragmatic energy source due to its environmental friendliness, renewable nature, and cost-cutting practices. Solar power neither polllutes nor uses natural resources. With storage batteries for nighttime and cloud cover, it is limitless in its availability. Over time, solar panels have decreased in price, and customers have reported dramatic decreases in electrical bills once they go solar. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

What is a solar tower and how does it work?

The power is coming back on in Australian communities thanks to solar-powered minigrids

Jimmy Carter's solar farm now powers more than half of his hometown

Rural community that lost two coal mines is now teaching kids to install solar panels

Mystery of the solar-powered ghost ship that washed ashore 3 years ago finally solved

Wind and solar plants rise in the shadow of Fukushima's nuclear meltdown in Japan

Solar panels pair surprisingly well with tomatoes, peppers and pollinators

Chernobyl shines again as a solar farm

Renewable energy is quickly becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, report finds

Washington, D.C., to run entirely on renewable energy by 2032

Puerto Rico plots out total switch to green energy by 2050

Scientists transform sunlight into a liquid fuel that can be stored for 18 years

SPONSORED