Solar energy is the radiant light and heat from the sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.
Solar radiation, along with secondary solar resources, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth.
Solar energy technologies refer primarily to the use of solar radiation for practical ends. All other renewable energies other than geothermal derive their energy from energy received from the sun.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic modules (also called photovoltaic panels) and solar thermal collectors (with electrical or mechanical equipment) to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
Active solar technologies increase the supply of energy and are considered supply side technologies, while passive solar technologies reduce the need for alternate resources and are generally considered demand side technologies.
Solar energy is and will always be seen as an electricity source of boundless potential. And while it has become a popular solution, a lot of headway can still be made to make it a leading world power in power production.