Chapter 1

An Introduction to Solar Power

Abstract

Solar power is the Earth’s most important source of energy. It is responsible for the biomass on the Earth and the fossil fuels within it, as well for driving the weather systems responsible for rain and wind. The Sun can be used to generate electricity in two ways, either by using its heat as a heat source, or by utilizing its light in a solar cell. Solar power is an intermittent source of energy and cannot alone provide a continuous source of electrical power. The development of both solar cells and solar thermal power generation can be traced back to the 19th century. At the end of 2014 there were close to 180 GW of solar generating capacity around the world.

Keywords

Solar energy; solar cells; ...

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