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Solar Basics

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.

About half the incoming solar energy reaches the Earth's surface.


A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.

In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that solar energy technologies such as photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters and power stations built with mirrors could provide a third of the world's energy by 2060 if politicians commit to limiting climate change.


The energy from the sun could play a key role in de-carbonizing the global economy alongside improvements in energy efficiency and imposing costs on greenhouse gas emitters. "The strength of solar is the incredible variety and flexibility of applications, from small scale to big scale".

'According to a recent New York Times article, "enough sunlight falls on the earth's surface every hour to meet the entire world's energy needs for one year. A plot of roughly 100 miles by 100 miles in the American Southwest... could generate enough power for the entire United States."

Advances in solar panel efficiency and durability, coupled with an abundance of sunshine in Southern California, make solar energy one of the most dependable and cost effective renewable energy sources on the market today.

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