Solar energy is the most old and the primary source of energy known to us. Sun emits enormous amount of energy which reaches us through sunlight. Sun provides energy to plants for the production of food which is vital for living things. We can also use this solar energy for the production of electricity. There are two methods for utilizing solar energy for the production of electricity.

1. Concentrating on solar power
2. Photovoltaic

Concentrating solar power is generated principally by focusing a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated beam is used as a heat source for the production of electricity. Different types of panels are available to produce concentrating solar power. Some examples are parabolic trough panel, compact linear Fresnel reflectors and many more. They all follow concentrated solar power principle in one way or the other.

Photovoltaic is the method of producing electrical power by direct conversion of solar energy into direct current electricity by using a semi-conductor. Semi conductors used for this purpose always have photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic effect is an ability of a substance to produce voltage or electric current on exposure to light. Photovoltaic power generation uses a solar panel consisting of a number of solar cells having photovoltaic effect. Mostly these cells are made up of monocyrstalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, copper indium gallium selenide and copper indium gallium sulfide.

The Solar Energy has more advantages than any energy derived from fossil fuels. Few are mentioned below:

Pollution and Global Warming Free:
Solar energy is pollution free during use and its wastes and products can be easily managed. Nowadays when environmentalists and scientists are asking whole world to understand the complexity and danger of environmental pollution, solar power seems to be one of the solutions for this ever evolving problem. The use of fossil fuel for the production of energy causes a lot of pollution. Global warming could be the one of the biggest upcoming problems for humans unless required precautions are taken. One of the biggest advantages of solar energy is that it does not liberate carbon dioxide, methane or other gas that could warm the atmosphere. On the other hand using fossil fuel releases all those gases that warm the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Renewable Energy Source:
There is an increase focus on free utility of fossil fuels without considering the consequences of its extinction. Fossil fuels are finite sources of energy and we are running out of our fossil fuels quickly. With increase in the human population the use of fossil fuel is also increasing. As fossil fuels are non-renewable sources we should be very careful with their use. Solar energy provides a better alternative energy source to fossil fuel. Solar energy is renewable source and as long as the sun is up there, it is constantly producing all the energy we can need.

Cheap and Maintenance Free Running Cost:
Solar energy is cheap. There is no doubt that solar energy have high initiating price but once solar panels power facility is in place, no fuel, lubricants or any kind of maintenance is required thus providing literally free energy. And with fossil fuels prizes touching sky, the overall cost advantage of solar energy is very obvious. It is also expected that with the further development in solar technology the financial cost of expensive appliances such as solar cells and concentrating solar energy panels will also decrease leading to cheap, pollution free energy.