Solar energy is regarded to be the ultimate when it comes to renewable energy. In turn, renewable energy is a kind of energy that comes from a resource that can naturally replenish itself. But while the term solar energy may seem self-explanatory, it’s actually not as simple as it sounds.
For instance, many think that this kind of energy is the heat coming from the Sun. However, Earth doesn’t really receive heat from the Sun; or, at least, not directly. What the planet gets is solar radiation-exactly 174 petawatts of it (a petawatt is four levels above the kilowatt). Why people perceive this energy as heat is because the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, the oceans, and basically every object in the planet absorb this solar radiation. Absorbing this radiation causes their temperature to rise, hence the heat.
It is this radiation that is converted into solar power, the energy used as a substitute to electricity and non-renewable resources.