Solar energy is the energy provided by the most commonly known alternative energy source, the sun. It can be obtained in the form of heat or light and so also be classified as thermal energy and electric energy. As green renewable energy from the sun, solar energy is present in fossil fuels and in the remains of dead plants and animals. Renewable solar energy is also used by plants to prepare their food through the process of photosynthesis. This energy source is also freely available for the purpose of growing food and keeping our bodies warm
When used as thermal energy, solar energy provides heat that can be used to generate electricity and heat water. A number of innovative technologies have been developed through which solar energy can be used to generate electricity. Solar pool heaters use the alternative energy store of the sun to keep water in pools warm. Heat energy can be used directly by solar towers to generate electricity.
Passive and active techniques can be used to heat water by using the energy available in the form of renewable solar energy. When passive heating technique is used water is preheated by the sun’s rays and then used in a conventional water heater for heating purposes. In the active heating technique by using solar energy, a heating element is used in solar hot water systems.
Renewable solar energy can be used in solar cells to generate electric energy that can be used for a number of purposes. Solar energy is a cost effective and renewable energy source for generating electricity.