Solar power: Photovoltaic systems
Photovoltaic (or PV) cells turn sunlight directly into electricity, without needing turbines. These are the same types of solar cells you may have seen on rooftops.
PV power stations have only recently become practical. One of the first is in Portugal:
PV has been a very expensive way to generate electricity. Though made from silicon, (a very common material), there is currently a worldwide shortage of the right quality of refined silicon. Thus PV systems have been very expensive to build. But new designs have been developed that use up to 80% less silicon. Other advances in solar cell efficiency mean that very soon the cost of electricity from solar will drop considerably.
solar power at night