Solar energy

What is solar energy?

The sun is by far our largest and most important source of energy. Solar energy refers to the light and heat that reaches the Earth through sunlight. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that can be harnessed and converted into electricity or thermal energy.

In what ways can we generate electricity from solar energy?
Today, we harness solar energy primarily in two ways: converting the energy into heat (solar thermal collectors) and into electrical energy (solar panels).

Solar thermal collectors
Solar thermal collectors absorb the sun's heat rays. The absorbed radiant energy is then converted into thermal energy (heat). This thermal energy can, for example, be used to heat water in households.

Solar panels
Solar panels directly convert sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic process. Solar panels can be installed on rooftops, among other places, to provide electricity to buildings. Learn more about solar panels here.