Solar energy is a renewable energy source which provides heat which can then be turned into a source of electricity.
Turning to the Sun for Heat
Collecting the sunlight has been something which has been done for many centuries now. In harnessing the power of the sun, people have been able to gain light, to warm their homes, and, as technology improved, turn light into energy. The collection of sunlight is seen not only in the solar panels which are being used today, but also in the ocean energy and the geothermal energy sources. These too are being power by the sun, even if they are indirectly getting their energy in that way.
Today, solar energy is collected and then stored in photovoltaic cells which then act as batteries. This stored energy can then be used when something electric needs some power, much in the same way that an alkaline batter might work.
While solar energy is easily available in many areas of the world, the cost of collecting the energy can prove to be problematic. The devices also need to be kept as clean and scratch free as possible to collect the most energy, which can be a tiresome process of maintenance.
However, smaller solar cells are simple to maintain and can be found on traffic lights, some small battery chargers, and even on some homes.