“The energy in the photons of sunlight frees electrons from atoms in the PV cells so they can flow out of the cell as an electrical current.”

Our Sources Of Energy

Electricity From The Sun

Electricity can be produced from sunlight in two main ways—by producing heat that powers an electricity generator or by converting sunlight directly to electricity using solar cells.

Unlike fossil fuel or nuclear plants, solar electric plants can produce a constant electrical current only when the sun is shining. Even though the fuel—sunlight—is free, there is obviously no sunshine at night, and passing clouds during the day affect the flows of solar electricity. This so-called intermittency problem requires utilities to think differently about the role played by solar electricity.

Once the world chooses to set ambitious goals for scaling up solar-electricity development and commits to the investments necessary to further improve the technologies involved, there is no question that solar energy will provide a major percentage of the world’s electricity.