Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power.
Focused solar electricity systems (Unified Solar) use lenses or mirrors and monitoring systems to focus a substantial area of sunlight into a small shaft. Photovoltaics convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its “high renewables” scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would provide about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of the worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world’s greatest supply of electricity. Most solar facilities would maintain China and India.
Photovoltaics were initially exclusively used as a supply of electricity for medium and small -sized applications, in the calculator powered by one solar cell to remote dwellings powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system.
As the cost of solar electricity has dropped, the quantity of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale solar power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being constructed.
Solar PV is quickly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to use renewable energy in the Sun.
Commercial concentrated solar power plants were developed in the 1980s. The 392 MW Ivanpah facility is the greatest concentrating solar power plant on the planet, located in the Mojave Desert of California.