Solar power is the electricity generated using the solar radiation from the Sun. Although solar power makes up a small percentage of global energy production, some countries use significant amounts of solar power. China and the United States lead the world in total solar energy capacity, whereas Germany is a country which obtains a large percentage of their electricity from solar energy. See the interactive graph below for more statistics on solar power in the world.
The ability to harness sunlight and use that energy to generate electricity is achieved through a variety of methods. This article focuses on the use of photovoltaic cells and solar thermal power plants, however solar energy can also be harnessed for domestic water heating.
Figures 2 and 3 below show a solar photovoltaic power plant and a solar thermal power plant.