We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Solar Power Energy?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Solar power energy is the result of running absorbed sunlight through a system designed to create electrical currents or transfer heat. As one of many renewable energy sources being explored in the 21st century, many experts believe that solar power energy has the potential to be a major factor in the replacement of unsustainable fossil fuel use. Solar power energy is already in use around the globe, quietly taking clean, plentiful energy from the sun and using it to heat and power gadgets, homes, businesses and even whole communities.

There are two main forms of solar power energy: thermal and photovoltaic. Both uses are currently the subject of much research and discovery in the advent of global warming and a vanishing supply of fossil fuels. The renewable energy available from the sun can be processed to do just about anything that other forms of heat and electricity can manage. Since the sun is a fairly reliable source of energy in sunnier places, this makes solar power energy a key player in the future of energy technology and use.

Thermal solar power energy is used to generate heat. Commonly found in solar-heated pools, water heaters, and home heating systems, thermal energy works by absorbing heat from the sun and transferring it to another medium. A basic thermal power system used for water heaters consists of absorbent solar panels connected to tubes in which liquid or antifreeze can circulate. As the sun heats the panels, the panels in turn heat the circulating water, which then can transfer the heat to household water. In solar pools, small discs can sit on the surface of the water, absorbing sunlight and transferring the heat to the pool water.

For more expansive solar power energy production, photovoltaic systems come into play. Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into energy through the use of solar panels. When sunlight hits the panels, electrons in the panel material rise to an excited state and bounce off additional panel layers. The action of the electrons creates an electrical current, which can then be channeled through an inverting system and used just like any other electricity.

It is a common mistake to think that photovoltaic-generated energy can only be used while the sun is out. In fact, most photovoltaic systems use batteries that can store solar energy throughout the day, allowing it to be used even when the sun is not out. Photovoltaic solar power energy is an important technology, as it requires sunlight rather than heat. This means that cooler climates can still generate solar power as long as they receive sufficient light from the sun.

Although solar energy is rapidly gaining in popularity, it still remains a relatively minor source of the world's power. Some countries, such as Spain, Japan, Australia and the United States, are making strong efforts to incorporate photovoltaic systems into large-scale power grids to reduce fossil fuel use. Yet small scale solar grids are also becoming popular installation in new and retrofitted homes. In the United States alone, some estimates suggest that over 10,000 homes are now largely or completely run on solar power energy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

By anon50874 — On Nov 01, 2009

i found this article very interesting!

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis


With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.