Term solar energy refers to the radiant energy in form of heat and light emitted by the Sun as the result of Sun’s radiation. Without the energy coming from Sun our planet wouldn't be able to support life and solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available on our planet.
Solar energy has enormous potential and different solar technologies are developing very fast. Still, even despite the rapid growth of global solar energy industry, many years will have to pass before solar energy becomes a real competition to fossil fuels as the main energy source. This is because solar energy sector still lacks cost-parity with fossil fuels.
Solar energy is the most important source of renewable energy (wind energy is basically in origin a form of solar energy), and only geothermal and tidal energy do not derive their energy from the Sun.
Many people use terms solar energy and solar power as synonyms though this isn't exactly the case because term solar power refers to conversion of sunlight into electricity (in most cases by using photovoltaics).
Harnessing solar energy has enormous future potential not only in providing electricity and heat but also for different other industrial processes as well as the development of solar vehicles.
Though solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available on our planet it is still not a perfect source of energy. This does not only refer to a current lack of cost parity with fossil fuels but also because of intermittency issue because as you all know solar energy is not available at night and is therefore in need of adequate energy storage solution to cover for this deficiency.
Many energy experts as well as other scientists believe that it is only matter of time before solar energy becomes the most important source of energy on our planet, pushing fossil fuels into history books.
The International Energy Agency has in 2011 announced that solar energy technologies have the potential to provide a third of the world’s energy by 2060, given that the world leaders commit to limiting climate change.
Harnessing more solar energy instead of sticking with fossil fuels would slow climate change and give many species enough time to adapt to changes in climate and therefore help preserve current level of biodiversity on our planet.
Not only that, solar energy will improve energy security and energy independence of many countries in the world, ensure progress in sustainability and lead this world to a clean energy future.