How Does Solar Work? – Solar Power Explained

Are you curious about solar energy? How does solar power work? Learn how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, why it’s a good thing, and how you can benefit.

In today’s world, where sustainability is becoming increasingly important, renewable energy sources like solar power are taking centre stage. But how exactly does solar energy work, and how does it power our homes and businesses? Let’s dive into the revolutionary energy technologies of solar energy and discover how solar systems convert sunlight into electricity.

Converting Sunlight into Electricity

Solar panels, or photovoltaic (PV) panels, are the key players in harnessing solar energy. When sunlight strikes a solar panel, it converts sunlight into electricity through the photoelectric effect. This process occurs through the interaction of sunlight with semiconductor materials, typically silicon, within the solar cells of the panels.

As photons of sunlight bombard the solar cells, they excite the electrons within, creating an electric current. This unrefined electric current, known as direct current (DC) electricity, produced by the solar panels is fed into a solar inverter to transform it into alternating current (AC) electricity. The conversion of DC to AC electricity is essential, as AC electricity powers our homes, businesses, and appliances.

If you need a more visual breakdown, watch the video below.

Powering Your Home with Solar Energy

Household appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, air-conditioners, washing machines, and pool pumps can draw electricity directly from your solar panels, reducing your reliance on the traditional electricity grid. Less reliance on the grid also means lower energy bills.

Electricity generated by solar panels that you don’t use can be fed back into the grid (see feed-in tariffs). A feed-in tariff is the rate paid for electricity fed into the grid. You can get paid for it in cents per kWh, which will appear as a credit to your bill. Maximum system capacity and eligibility criteria apply. 

Battery Storage Systems

Battery storage systems are indispensable for optimising solar energy benefits in residential settings. These systems act as efficient storage solutions, allowing homeowners to capture surplus solar energy during peak production periods for later use during low sunlight or at night.

By incorporating battery storage, households can enhance their energy independence and resilience, reducing dependency on the conventional grid and ensuring uninterrupted power supply during outages. Moreover, integrating battery storage promotes sustainability by encouraging the use of clean solar energy over traditional fossil fuels.

You can explore reliable resources like the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Regulator website link to learn more about battery storage solutions for solar energy.

Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy

One of the most significant advantages of solar energy is its environmental sustainability. Solar power does not produce harmful greenhouse gases when generating electricity, unlike fossil fuels, which release emissions when burned for energy. The sustainable properties of solar energy are a clean and renewable alternative that helps combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.

ENE Services installing solar panels on a roof.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Australia has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions under international agreements like the Paris Agreement. Transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar power is a crucial step in achieving these goals. Studies have shown that widespread adoption of solar energy could significantly reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions. According to data from the Clean Energy Regulator, solar power systems installed in Australia have already helped avoid millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, as depicted in the above graph sourced from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Australians need to do more. Australia ranks among the top 25 greenhouse gas emitting nations, holding the 15th position in the world based on total emissions in 2005 and contributing 1.5% to total emissions. Additionally, Australia’s emissions per capita are the 7th highest globally, surpassing all other top 25 emitting nations and even exceeding those in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The nation’s reliance on coal for generating electricity stands out as a primary contributor to our high per-capita emissions when compared with other OECD nations.

Incentives to Swap for Solar Power

Australia offers a range of incentives to encourage the adoption of solar power, making it an attractive option for homeowners and businesses. One notable incentive is the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which provides financial incentives in small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for eligible solar installations. These certificates can be traded or sold to recoup a portion of the upfront cost of installing solar panels. Additionally, various state governments offer rebates and feed-in tariffs to offset the cost of solar installations and incentivise renewable energy production.

Furthermore, homeowners and businesses may be eligible for tax deductions or credits for investing in solar energy systems, reducing their tax burden while contributing to a cleaner environment.

Individuals can visit the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Regulator website link for more information on available incentives and eligibility criteria.

The Future of Solar Energy

The future of solar energy looks promising, with advancements in technology driving down costs and increasing efficiency. Governments worldwide are investing in solar energy infrastructure, and businesses and homeowners are increasingly turning to solar power to meet their energy needs.


In conclusion, solar energy offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to our energy needs. By harnessing the sun’s power, we can generate clean electricity to power our homes, businesses, and electric vehicles while reducing our environmental impact. We are approaching a future powered by renewable sources by supporting solar energy and investing in its growth.

If you’re considering switching to solar energy, contact us today. Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the world of solar power and find the right solution for your needs.

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