[Photo: solar power plant]
Solar energy is the light and radiant heat from the Sun that influences Earth's climate and weather and sustains life. Solar power is sometimes used as a synonym for solar energy or more specifically to refer to electricity generated from solar radiation. Since ancient times solar energy has been harnessed by humans using a range of technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth.
Solar energy technologies can provide electrical generation by heat engine or photovoltaic means; space heating and cooling in active and passive solar buildings; potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, hot water, thermal en...more >>