Solar power is the process by which energy taken from sunlight is converted into electricity. This can be done directly using the photovoltaic cells commonly found in solar panels that are used to generate domestic electricity or it can be an indirect process using a form of concentrated solar power.
Concentrated solar power is a system that uses a series of mirrors or lenses to condense a large amount of sunlight into a small beam of light.
Solar panels are now commonly seen on residential homes, as people want to take advantage of the cheaper electricity that they can produce.
It was during the 1980s that commercial plants were developed to generate solar power. One of the largest commercial power plants in the world is located in California in the Mohave Desert. These can now be seen in many other places in the world though and the UK has developed several in order to encourage utility companies to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Solar power is now one of the most inexpensive forms of renewable energy and its popularity is growing around the world, with China and India developing large solar power stations.