Solar energy is, simply put, energy that is collected from sunlight. This energy, for example, is needed for photosynthesis. Solar energy can be used for many things, including generating electricity, heating buildings, and even heating food. While solar energy falls behind on the list of the most demanded energy source, the fact is, that solar energy can be for many things and there are many benefits to using it.
Solar energy is used for generating electricity. This is accomplished with the use of solar cells. A solar cell is a semiconductor for converting light to an electric current. Because the electrical currents from solar cells are small, in order for enough energy to be converted, solar panels must be used. These are a series of large panels to collect a larger amount of light and you usually see them placed on rooftops or in fields. The light from the sun can also be converted to heat sources for buildings and you can even purchase a solar oven to cook your food.
The benefits of using solar energy are many and include savings on other types of fuels, and cost of electricity to the local power company. The downfall to solar energy, however, is that on dark or cloudy days, you will have low voltages and the cost of solar panels and accessories to create your solar energy system can be high. However, solar energy is a definite alternative to having other types of generators in areas where there is no electricity available.