Solar power production converts sunlight into electricity. It is one of the fastest growing renewable technologies and is playing an increasingly important role in the future global electricity generation mix.
Buying Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) from solar power generation guarantees that the renewable energy consumed is from this source.
Solar power is complicated to produce, but easy to use. The latitude, season and time of day determine the amount of energy an installation can capture and generate. Clouds and solar-cell efficiency also influence productivity. Forecasts indicate that technology development will bring the cost of solar power generation further down.
Photovoltaics (PV) convert light directly into electricity. PV is a technology that has achieved grid parity in a number of markets, meaning the cost is the same as residential electricity.
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) uses lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam, which is then converted into electricity.
There is a growing number of large solar power installations. But today hundreds of thousands of decentralised small-scale systems on private and commercial rooftops make up the majority of the solar power generated.
In 2017, cumulative solar PV capacity reached almost 398 GW and generated over 460 TWh, representing around 2% of global power output (IEA).