What is solar energy? | Types of energy

What is solar energy

What is solar energy? Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource that plays an important role in the world’s energy future. A year ago when we analyzed the pros and cons of renewable energy, we were already talking about this energy but not in depth as we do today.

Using sources such as air, water or the sun is a fundamental measure to avoid the use of polluting and non-biodegradable waste in the future. Solar energy is hailed as an inexhaustible source of fuel free of pollution and noise, but what is solar energy?

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is that which is obtained from solar radiation in the form of light, heat or ultraviolet rays. A clean and renewable energy, since its source is an unlimited resource. 

And popular, since most of us are in one way or another familiar with solar panels or photovoltaic cells that occupy roofs or are part of common elements in our homes.

Today, technology produces less than one-tenth of 1% of the world’s energy demand. Solar energy use, however, has increased 20% a year for the past 15 years thanks to rapid price declines and efficiency gains. Japan, Germany and the United States are the main markets for solar cells.

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Its inexhaustible nature and its discreet environmental impact make it one of the most beneficial renewable resources.

However, the sun does not arrive in a similar way in all parts of the world and it does not work at night. In addition, the surface necessary to collect solar energy at useful rates for many people, together with the price of the installation, become major drawbacks of this energy.

Types of energy

The solar thermal and photovoltaics are the main energy obtained from the sun. Both are present in our country. However, they are not the only solar-type energies as you can see in the brief review that we have prepared of all of them.


Solar thermal energy  takes advantage of the sun’s heat. This energy can be applied both domestically and industrially. It requires an installation consisting of solar collectors on the roof of the house or on large areas of land in a solar thermal power plant.

Through these collectors, thermal energy is transformed into mechanical energy, thus generating electricity.


Unlike the previous one, photovoltaic solar energy takes advantage of sunlight . Its production is one of the simplest that exist in the field of green energies, hence its use is so widespread.

The necessary installation to take advantage of the sunlight is made up of photovoltaic solar panels made up of silicon cells. These cells convert sunlight into energy by directing it to the electrical grid for use or by being stored in batteries.

Solar term of concentration

This energy also takes advantage of sunlight but in a concentrated way. Its use requires the installation of lenses or mirrors that concentrate a large amount of sunlight on a small surface.

This type of renewable energy transforms light into heat, driving a heat engine and generating an electrical current.

Passive solar

They are those that use the light or heat of the sun passively. Large windows strategically placed on the sunny side of a home, for example, allow sunlight to penetrate to heat-absorbing materials on the floor and walls.

These surfaces release heat at night to keep the building warm. We talk about more examples when we share information about passive homes with you , do you remember?

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