Solar power is also known as solar photovoltaics (PV). Solar power, or solar PV, generates electricity. Solar PV is a powerful and revolutionary technology. It could easily generate around a third of UK electricity needs. It is revolutionary because solar puts the power to generate, and to act on climate change, directly in the hands of millions of people like you. That’s a big break with the past.
The cost of solar power has fallen so consistently over the past 20 years it will break even with the price consumers pay for electricity in some EU countries in just a few years. Our vision is for solar power to be cheaper than the price you pay for grid electricity, without public support, as soon as possible. This will provide millions of households with more stable electricity prices and better control over their energy bills. It will also go a long way to getting us off fossil fuels – and helping developing countries to go down a clean energy path.
For prices to keep coming down the industry needs to grow fast. To ensure that happens, people need to invest in solar power today. The UK already has nearly half a million solar PV homes. Together with solar thermal, we want the UK to reach 1 million solar homes by the end of 2015. With your help we can.
Solar works on the phenomenon of the photoelectric effect (explained by Albert Einstein no less). Energy carried in daylight interacts with the materials in PV to release electrons, which are then lined up in series to deliver an electric current. Direct sunlight intensifies this effect. Please see our fascinating educational videos on how solar PV works. We think you’ll agree, solar PV is an extraordinary technology!