Solar is an important part of the ESO’s ambition to run the grid carbon zero by 2025. But how does solar power work, how much does the UK produce and what happens to solar on a cloudy day? How does solar power work? Solar power works by converting energy from the sun into power.
- There are two forms of energy generated from the sun for our use – electricity and heat.
- Both are generated through the use of solar panels, which range those found on rooftops of our homes and businesses to ‘solar farms’ stretching across acres of land.
- Is solar power a clean energy source? Yes, solar power is a renewable energy source.
And it’s also limitless – as long as the sun shines, energy will be released. And unlike the burning of fossil fuels, sunlight converts into power without creating harmful greenhouse gas emissions. How is electricity from solar energy produced? Solar panels are made out of photovoltaic cells (which is why generating electricity with solar panels is also called solar PV) that convert the sun’s energy into electricity.
- Photovoltaic cells sit between layers of semi-conducting materials such as silicone.
- Layers have different electronic properties that energise when hit by photons from sunlight, creating an electric field.
- This is known as the photoelectric effect – which creates the current needed to produce electricity.
Did you know? “1839 – Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, the first step towards solar power.” Solar panels generate a direct current of electricity. This is then passed through an inverter to convert it into an alternating current, which is funnelled into the grid, or used by homes and businesses which have panels installed.
Why do new solar PV production records tend to happen in April or May rather than June, July or August? There are two main reasons for this. First, solar panels work better when they are cool. The hotter a solar panel gets the higher its internal resistance. So for the same amount of sunshine a cool solar panel will produce more electricity than a hot one.
April and May tend to be cooler than June or July. Second, some solar panels are affected by shading. If there is a nearby tree casting a shadow onto the solar panels then this shadow would be bigger when all the leaves are fully developed. This means for the same amount of sunshine a solar panel in the shade of a tree will produce more electricity in April and it would in June.
This is why Solar PV records are more often set in April or May. Although this year may be an exception with particularly cloudy and wet weather in both April and May it may fall to June to be the month that will set the record this year. Can solar power be generated on a cloudy day? Yes, it just isn’t as efficient due to the lack of direct sunlight.
The rate at which the panels generate electricity will vary depending on the amount of sunlight and the quality, size, number and location of panels in use. And you may think the often-cloudy UK puts us way down the solar power generation league. In fact, the UK generates more solar power than some sunnier countries like France, and is in the top 10 worldwide of countries producing solar PV.
- Where do solar farms fit in? These are large scale installations where solar panels are used to harvest the sun’s power.
- They’re different to rooftop solar systems in that they are designed for solar energy generation that feeds directly into the grid.
- Large solar farms can be built for one particular use – those built to power data centres for example.
So does the ESO have to forecast the weather? Yes we do. We have a team that looks after this so we can estimate how much renewable energy like solar or wind might be produced on any given day. We consider things like lightning strikes, in case it causes outages, and we even look at space weather, just in case there’s an incredible rare solar flare.
What role does solar power play in GB electricity? The GB system is changing quickly and we’re seeing more renewable sources of electricity, such as wind and solar, come into the market. In fact, you can see real time information on how GB’s electricity is being produced, including the % of solar generation, on our free Carbon Intensity app.
Download the app from Google Play Store and The App Store, A complex set of processes are involved in keeping the power system stable and currently those processes, the foundations of the electricity system, rely to some extent on the intrinsic nature of traditional fossil-fuelled generation.
- 0.1 How do we generate electricity from solar energy?
- 0.2 Can Solar Energy be converted directly into electricity?
- 1 Who converts solar energy into electricity?
- 2 How many solar panels does it take to power a refrigerator?
- 3 What are the 7 solar systems?
- 4 How is solar energy renewable?
How do we generate electricity from solar energy?
Solar Energy 101 – Solar radiation is light – also known as electromagnetic radiation – that is emitted by the sun. While every location on Earth receives some sunlight over a year, the amount of solar radiation that reaches any one spot on the Earth’s surface varies.
Solar technologies capture this radiation and turn it into useful forms of energy. There are two main types of solar energy technologies—photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP). You’re likely most familiar with PV, which is utilized in solar panels. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel.
This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow. Concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) systems use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricity or stored for later use.
It is used primarily in very large power plants. Solar energy technology doesn’t end with electricity generation by PV or CSP systems. These solar energy systems must be integrated into homes, businesses, and existing electrical grids with varying mixtures of traditional and other renewable energy sources.
A number of non-hardware costs, known as soft costs, also impact the cost of solar energy. These costs include permitting, financing, and installing solar, as well as the expenses solar companies incur to acquire new customers, pay suppliers, and cover their bottom line.
For rooftop solar energy systems, soft costs represent the largest share of total costs. Solar energy can help to reduce the cost of electricity, contribute to a resilient electrical grid, create jobs and spur economic growth, generate back-up power for nighttime and outages when paired with storage, and operate at similar efficiency on both small and large scales.
Solar energy systems come in all shapes and sizes. Residential systems are found on rooftops across the United States, and businesses are also opting to install solar panels. Utilities, too, are building large solar power plants to provide energy to all customers connected to the grid.
Can Solar Energy be converted directly into electricity?
Solar energy can be converted to electricity in two ways: Photovoltaic (PV devices) or ‘solar cells’ – change sunlight directly into electricity. PV systems are often used in remote locations that are not connected to the electric grid. They are also used to power watches, calculators, and lighted road signs.
How long does it take for solar panels to generate electricity?
Permits and approval – After you sign off on your solar system design, your city or local authority needs to as well. From the time your solar installer submits the necessary permits to the time of installation depends on the permitting process, which some local governments have chosen to speed up, It can take a few months to go from signing a contract to generating solar power. Eloi_Omella/Getty Images
Who converts solar energy into electricity?
The device which converts solar energy into electrical energy is known as the solar cell.
How big of a solar system do I need to go off-grid?
How many solar panels do I need to go off-grid? – The number of solar panels needed to go off-grid, solely depends on the following factors:
Amount of electricity you use Amount of useable roof space Amount of direct daily sunlight The type of solar panel you choose
The average off-grid home usually requires about 7 Kw (or 7000 Watts) of power to rely entirely on its own energy production. Solar panels come in various forms, shapes and sizes. Two major factors that determine the amount of solar panels you will need to go off-grid, depends on your energy requirements and the performance output of each panel.
Panel performance is rated under standard testing conditions (STC): irradiance of 1,000 W/m 2, solar spectrum of AM 1.5 and module temperature at 25 °C.
Usually the larger the panel, the higher the panel performance. For example, a 100-watt solar panel typically measures 47 x 21,3 x 1,4 inches. A 200-Watt solar panel measures 64 x 26 x 1,4 inches (these are rough estimates). The bigger the framework, the more photo-voltaic cells are able to be mounted inside of it, thus more performance.
- If your energy requirements were as such as the average mentioned above (7 Kw) and you were to use 200-watt solar panels, then you’d need more or less 35 panels to take your home off-grid.
- Or if you used 350-watt solar panels, you’d need 20 panels.
- To give you an idea of how much area say 35 solar panels will take up, you will need to find the total square footage.
In the U.S, the average homes roof is about 1700 square feet,
35 solar panels will take up more or less 389 square feet of your homes roof space. This leaves more than enough room in case you add any extra panels to your system in the future.
To make things easier for you, we have compiled this chart to give you a basic ballpark on how many solar panels you will need depending on your situation.
|Average Monthly Electric Bill||Solar System Size||Number of Panels (Based on 200W Panels)||Estimated Space Needed|
|$60||5 kW||26 panels||289 sq. ft|
|$120||10 kW||52 panels||578 sq. ft|
|$240||20 kW||105 panels||1,168 sq. ft|
|$600||50 kW||255 panels||2,838 sq. ft|
|$1,200||100 kW||510 panels||5,676 sq. ft|
|$2,400||200 kW||1020 panels||11,352 sq. ft|
A 200 Watt solar panel measures roughly 11,13 sq. ft)
How many solar panels does it take to power a refrigerator?
Authors Note: This has been updated on Feb 23, 2022 with updated information, links, and resources. From a small 50 watt portable solar panel to keep your devices charged to powerful 300 watt panels to mount on the roof of your tiny home or cabin, there’s a solar panel for everyone.
- How many panels do you need to keep things charged up in your home? Is it possible to run a refrigerator on a solar panel? With some simple calculations it’s easy to ensure your solar installation will meet your energy needs.
- How do solar panels work First let’s talk about the basics of how solar energy is generated.
Photovoltaic solar panels are made up of many solar cells made of silicon. When sunlight hits the panels, they create an electric current. Panels have both a positive and a negative layer, which creates an electric field. The current collected by solar panels then feeds into a charge controller, which controls how much current goes to a battery.
- Charge controllers prevent batteries from being overcharged.
- They also have the ability to shut down a system if the energy stored dips below 50%.
- Batteries store and produce DC power.
- In order to use AC appliances, such as microwaves, laptops, and phone chargers, an inverter is used to change the power from DC into AC power.
In a home, solar panels are connected to a grid inverter, which is then connected to the existing electrical network in your house. In an RV, van, or boat, you can choose from a range of different inverters based on your specific energy needs. How many solar panels do I need to run a refrigerator? The average refrigerator takes about three or four average solar panels to run. The average refrigerator found in the United States uses approximately 57 kWh per month while the average freezer uses 58 kWh.
- Adding those together brings a combined total of 115 kWh.
- A 100 watt panel receiving at least 8 hours of sunlight per day will produce almost 1 kilowatt-hours per day or 30 kWh per month.
- Divide that usage of the refrigerator (115kWh) by 30 kWh per month and you get 3.8 solar panels.
- This means you’ll need four panels to keep this refrigerator running What can you run with a 300 watt solar panel? A 300 watt panel that receives 8 hours of sunlight per day will produce almost 2.5 kilowatt-hours per day.
If we multiply this by 365 days per year, we get a solar output of about 900 kilowatt-hours annually. In short, each panel will provide 900 kilowatt-hours each year. Considering all of the different scenarios, there is still a long list of appliances and devices that can run effectively with 300-watt solar panels, including laptops, LED lights, stereos, and TVs.
- A 300-watt solar panel is at about the upper end of what you could reasonably be looking for in portable applications.
- They can provide significant power generation when taken on the road for RV vacations or other trips.
- These panels are available in compact enough sizes to take to remote sites where some power generation is required.
To get an accurate calculation of what you can and cannot power with a single 300 watt solar panel, you’ll need to compare the output per day or month (so 2.5 kWh/day for the solar panel) with the needs of an appliance (3.8kWh/day for a refrigerator).
- In this example, a 300 watt solar panel would not be enough to power that refrigerator.
- Three hundred watts is a typical size for the solar panels that make up the solar array for powering a home or business.
- You’ll require multiple panels to generate enough power, and the actual number you need can vary widely based on the size of your home and your individual energy consumption.
What can a 500 watt solar panel run? Let’s assume that each panel gets around 8 hours of sunlight per day on your rooftop. A 500 watt panel receiving 8 hours of sunlight per day will produce about 4 kilowatt-hours per day. If we multiply this by 365 days per year, we get a solar output of about 1460 kilowatt-hours annually.
- In short, each panel will provide 1460 kilowatt-hours each year.
- Buying a combination of these larger panels will help you meet the need of more energy-hungry appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, hot water heaters, and dryers.
- However, they’re the perfect size for certain applications all on their own.
They’re particularly popular for RVs, delivering sufficient power to provide for most electrical needs and charge batteries for overnight use. At 500 watts, solar panels have reached a size that is getting less portable. However, there won’t be any issue attaching such a panel to a recreational vehicle for portable power anywhere you go. How many amps does a 300w 12v solar panel produce? In order to effectively understand what your solar power system will be able to power, you’ll have to understand amps in addition to watts. Amps are a measure of current, as opposed to power, and play a key role in determining battery bank sizes.
- To calculate amps, remember the equation amps x volts = watts.
- In this example, amps x 12 volts = 300 watts.
- Using this, we learn that this panel will produce 25 amps.
- While 25 amps is the current you get based on the ideal match for your solar panels, there are more considerations to take into account in practice.
When charging a 12-volt battery bank, you’ll actually be charging it up to 14.6 volts. Of course, this will also be different for different voltages, with some larger solar systems running on 24 or 48 volts to be more efficient at their scale. There are also some points within the system where you can have energy losses.
The charge controller is one of the most important components when determining your actual electrical output. It regulates the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the batteries. There are two different types, pulse width modulation (PWM) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT). MPPT charge controllers are more efficient than PWM.
Once you actually put your solar panels into action, you can expect about 16 amps at 12 volts from a 300-watt panel. How many solar panels do I need to go off-grid? For the cases of this example, let’s say we have some 300 watt solar panels, and you’re looking to provide power for your home.
You don’t have access to the grid and installing off-grid solar on your home is your best option for meeting your energy needs. Let’s assume that each panel gets around 8 hours of sunlight per day on your rooftop. A 300 watt panel receiving 8 hours of sunlight per day will produce almost 2.5 kilowatt-hours per day.
If we multiply this by 365 days per year, we get a solar output of about 900 kilowatt-hours annually. In short, each panel will provide 900 kilowatt-hours each year. However, you can’t expect to get your solar panels’ full output for every hour the sun shines during the day.
- In practice, the average output tends to be more in line with 4 hours of full production each day.
- This average means that your 300-watt solar panel is going to give you 1.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day.
- Eep in mind that this is the total energy production over the course of the entire day.
- Power generation isn’t consistent throughout the day.
There will be a peak around noon with a noticeable drop-off as night approaches. If your solar power system doesn’t have sufficient battery storage, you’ll be wasting any power you make at the peak. You need to make sure you have enough batteries to buffer this output.
How much energy does your home use? Most data suggests that a typical American home (2,000 square feet home) consumes approximately 11,000 kilowatt-hours annually. So, when we divide our total consumption by the expected output of one solar panel, we see that roughly thirteen solar panels of this size would be enough to power a home of that size.
If you have a smaller home or are powering an RV, your energy needs will be much lower, and you’ll need fewer panels. How many solar panels do I need to power my air conditioner? Central air conditioners take up a lot of energy and use about 3,5000 watts, or 3.5 kWh, for every hour that they are in operation.
- That means each solar panel will be able to power your A/C for about 8.5 hours.
- However, if you run your A/C for 6 hours per day, that means you would need more than 21 100 watt solar panels to cover 180 hours per month of use.
- If you have a smaller solar installation, you’ll want to limit your AC use or forgo it altogether.
How many solar panels does it take to charge a 100ah battery? Again, we use the same calculation dividing power in watts by the voltage in volts to find amps. Charging your battery at 12 volts and 20 amps will take five hours to charge a 100-amp hour battery.
- By multiplying 20 amps by 12 volts, 240 watts is how big of a panel you would need, so we’d recommend using a 300w solar panel or three 100-watt solar panels.
- You’ll still have your regular power demand when charging batteries for overnight.
- If your solar power system is only large enough to charge batteries for overnight, you won’t have any power during the day.
One of the most important things that you should consider when determining the right number of 300-watt panels and 12-volt batteries for your solar system is that you’ll have to run your system and charge batteries simultaneously. When sizing a battery bank, it’s also important to consider that the inverter could become a limiting factor in your solar power system. Do solar panels work in cloudy areas? Even if you’re in a cloudy area, solar panels produce around 25 percent as much energy as they would on a sunny one. Also, despite popular belief, solar panels actually operate more efficiently in colder climates than in warmer ones.
Your 300-watt solar panel has been designed to produce 300 watts of power when operating at 25°C. Its peak output can actually be higher at lower temperatures. It’s also important to consider the impact that solar panel positioning can have. Your solar panels need to be somewhere where the light hitting them isn’t obstructed, which is why so many homeowners put them on their roofs.
More remote locations like cottages will often mount solar panels on poles. One key benefit here is that these systems can often be rotated to follow the sun for the most efficient power production possible. Getting the right angle is also important, but very fine adjustments have only minimal impact on energy production.
- However, if you know you’re going to be mostly travelling or living in mostly cloudy areas, it’s important to take that into consideration when considering how much power your system will be able to generate and if that investment in the system is worth it.
- Refer to the Renogy Solar Calculator to get a more accurate estimate of what size system you need.
What do I do at night when my panels aren’t producing power? If you are off-grid, your panels will have stored excess energy in your battery bank for you to tap into at night when your panels are not collecting power. If you are on-grid, you can often take advantage of a utility billing mechanism called net metering.
- This is when excess electricity your panels are produced during the day are fed into the grid and credited to your account.
- Then, at night or when it’s cloudy, you can utilize those credits.
- Net metering isn’t necessarily offered by all power companies within the United States.
- You’ll have to reach out to your utility company ahead of time to make sure.
When you do, you might also find out about certain tax incentives and other rebates available in your state. These incentives can make solar power an even better investment than it already is. In theory, net metering could allow you to avoid the need for an extensive battery bank.
- The economics work out, with your solar power system producing excess energy and sending it to the grid throughout the day, then getting it back at night.
- However, having a battery bank gives the added benefit of providing power storage when the grid goes out.
- You can still save money with net metering, but it can’t keep your lights on during a power outage.
How do I know how many panels I need? To determine what size system will best fit your needs, make a list of all the appliances and devices you plan on running. The main appliances to take into consideration when addressing energy needs may include a TV, lighting, water pump, laptop, fans, microwave, and refrigerator.
- We recommend using the solar panel calculator to help design your system and calculate your needs.
- The solar sizing calculator allows you to input information about your lifestyle to help you decide on your solar panel requirements.
- You’ll just need to know what total watts your electronics will consume, how long you plan on running devices, your charge controller efficiency, and average sun hours per day.
The solar panel calculator will then be able to tell you the minimum and recommended system size, as well as the recommended battery output. One of the most important elements of correctly sizing a solar power system is understanding the difference between peak and average usage.
For example, your microwave might consume 1000 watts, but how often is it running? If you look at something like lightbulbs that have low wattages but are on for hours at a time, you have the opposite idea to consider. Many appliances also have start-up loads higher than their listed wattage, which means they can draw much more power right as they’re getting started.
Taking a look at your energy use at this depth can be challenging but will help ensure that you get the capacity you need. Conclusion Renogy has a variety of different sized solar panels and solar kits available for purchase. Taking the time to do some math on the capacity of your solar panels and the needs of your household appliances and devices will ensure you have an effective solar installation that meets all your solar needs.
What are the 7 solar systems?
solar system | Definition, Planets, Diagram, Videos, & Facts There are eight in the solar system. The four inner terrestrial planets are,,, and, all of which consist mainly of rock. The four outer planets are,,, and, giant planets that consist mainly of either gases or ice.
was considered the ninth planet until 2006, when the International Astronomical Union voted to classify Pluto as a instead. The solar system is situated within the Orion-Cygnus Arm of the,, made up of the stars Proxima Centauri, Alpha Centauri A, and Alpha Centauri B, is the closest star system to the solar system.
Scientists have multiple theories that explain how the solar system formed. The favoured theory proposes that the solar system formed from a, where the was born out of a concentration of and heat at the centre, while debris rotating the nebula collided to create the,
And, of and respectively, are ice-covered rocky objects that scientists think may harbour life in the water beneath the surface. Some geological evidence points to the possibility of microorganisms on, solar system, assemblage consisting of the —an average in the —and those bodies orbiting around it: 8 (formerly 9) with about 210 known planetary (moons); countless s, some with their own satellites; s and other icy bodies; and vast reaches of highly gas and dust known as the,
The Sun,, and brightest planets were visible to the naked eyes of ancient astronomers, and their observations and calculations of the movements of these bodies gave rise to the science of, Today the amount of information on the motions, properties, and of the planets and smaller bodies has grown to immense proportions, and the range of observational instruments has extended far beyond the solar system to other galaxies and the edge of the known,
Yet the solar system and its immediate outer boundary still represent the limit of our physical reach, and they remain the core of our theoretical understanding of the cosmos as well. -launched space probes and landers have gathered data on planets, moons, asteroids, and other bodies, and this data has been added to the measurements collected with telescopes and other instruments from below and above Earth’s and to the information from meteorites and from Moon rocks returned by astronauts.
All this information is scrutinized in attempts to understand in detail the origin and evolution of the solar system—a goal toward which astronomers continue to make great strides. Located at the centre of the solar system and influencing the motion of all the other bodies through its gravitational force is the Sun, which in itself contains more than 99 percent of the mass of the system.
- The planets, in order of their distance outward from the Sun, are,,,,,,, and,
- Four planets—Jupiter through Neptune—have ring systems, and all but Mercury and Venus have one or more moons.
- Had been officially listed among the planets since it was discovered in 1930 orbiting beyond Neptune, but in 1992 an icy object was discovered still farther from the Sun than Pluto.
Many other such discoveries followed, including an object named that appears to be at least as large as Pluto. It became apparent that Pluto was simply one of the larger members of this new group of objects, collectively known as the, Accordingly, in August 2006 the (IAU), the organization charged by the scientific with classifying astronomical objects, voted to revoke Pluto’s planetary status and place it under a new classification called.
For a discussion of that action and of the definition of planet approved by the IAU, see, Any natural solar system object other than the Sun, a planet, a dwarf planet, or a moon is called a ; these include s, s, and s. Most of the several hundred thousand asteroids, or minor planets, orbit between Mars and Jupiter in a nearly flat ring called the asteroid belt.
The fragments of asteroids and other small pieces of solid matter (smaller than a few tens of metres across) that populate interplanetary space are often termed meteoroids to distinguish them from the larger asteroidal bodies. The solar system’s several billion comets are found mainly in two distinct reservoirs.
- The more-distant one, called the, is a spherical shell surrounding the solar system at a distance of approximately 50,000 s (AU)—more than 1,000 times the distance of Pluto’s orbit.
- The other reservoir, the, is a thick disk-shaped zone whose main concentration extends 30–50 AU from the Sun, beyond the orbit of Neptune but including a portion of the orbit of Pluto.
(One astronomical unit is the average distance from Earth to the Sun—about 150 million km,) Just as asteroids can be regarded as rocky left over from the formation of the inner planets, Pluto, its moon, Eris, and the myriad other Kuiper belt objects can be seen as surviving representatives of the icy bodies that accreted to form the cores of Neptune and Uranus.
As such, Pluto and Charon may also be considered to be very large comet nuclei. The s, a population of comet nuclei having diameters as large as 200 km (125 miles), orbit the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune, probably having been gravitationally inward from the Kuiper belt. The —an exceedingly tenuous (ionized gas) laced with concentrations of s—extends outward from the Sun to about 123 AU.
All the planets and dwarf planets, the rocky asteroids, and the icy bodies in the Kuiper belt move around the Sun in in the same direction that the Sun rotates. This motion is termed prograde, or direct, motion. Looking down on the system from a vantage point above Earth’s, an observer would find that all these orbital motions are in a counterclockwise direction.
In striking contrast, the comet nuclei in the Oort cloud are in orbits having random directions, corresponding to their spherical distribution around the plane of the planets. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The shape of an object’s is defined in terms of its,
For a perfectly circular orbit, the eccentricity is 0; with increasing elongation of the orbit’s shape, the eccentricity increases toward a value of 1, the eccentricity of a parabola. Of the eight major planets, Venus and Neptune have the most circular orbits around the Sun, with eccentricities of 0.007 and 0.009, respectively.
- Mercury, the closest planet, has the highest eccentricity, with 0.21; the dwarf planet Pluto, with 0.25, is even more,
- Another defining attribute of an object’s orbit around the Sun is its, which is the angle that it makes with the plane of Earth’s orbit—the plane.
- Again, of the planets, Mercury’s has the greatest inclination, its orbit lying at 7° to the ecliptic; Pluto’s orbit, by comparison, is much more steeply inclined, at 17.1°.
The orbits of the small bodies generally have both higher and higher inclinations than those of the planets. Some comets from the Oort cloud have inclinations greater than 90°; their motion around the Sun is thus opposite that of the Sun’s rotation, or retrograde.
What is solar energy very short answer?
Passive Solar Heating – Have you ever noticed how sunlight streaming through a window can make your home feel warmer, even on a cold day? If so, you’ve seen passive solar heating in action! People can design or remodel buildings to take advantage of heat from the sun during the winter.
How is solar energy renewable?
Solar energy is that produced by the Sun’s light – photovoltaic energy – and its warmth – solar thermal – for the generation of electricity or the production of heat. Inexhaustible and renewable, since it comes from the Sun, solar energy is harnessed using panels and mirrors.