What Is Solar Energy?

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is an energy source that depends on the sun. This energy makes it possible to manufacture electricity from photovoltaic panels or thermal solar power plants, thanks to the sunlight captured by solar panels.

Solar energy is clean, emits no greenhouse gases and its raw material, the sun, although it is more than 150 million kilometers away from us, is free, inexhaustible and available everywhere in the world.

How does a solar installation work?

3 elements are necessary for a photovoltaic installation: solar panels, an inverter and a meter.

These three elements make it possible to recover the energy transmitted by the sun, transform it into electricity and then distribute it to all customers connected to the network.

  • Solar panels convert light directly into direct electric current.
  • The inverter then transforms the electricity obtained into alternating current compatible with the network.
  • The meter measures the quantity of current injected into the network.

If you are looking for solutions to make your home greener, you have the option of installing devices that use renewable energies such as solar energy. The advantages of solar power are mainly;

To be an inexhaustible and clean energy;

To take advantage of facilities whose cost is less and less expensive;

To be able to reduce your energy costs.

Solar energy can be harnessed by installing thermal panels or photovoltaic panels.

Did you know ?

Total supports you in your approach with its SunPower offer and offers you photovoltaic solar panels that are among the most efficient on the current market.


One of the main advantages of solar energy remains that it is a renewable energy and therefore inexhaustible. As the sun is unlikely to go out for five billion years, you have plenty of time to take advantage of its rays to produce electricity and heat for your home.

All the more interesting since, unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, does not emit greenhouse gases and does not contribute to global warming. Clean energy with minimal environmental impact. In addition, photovoltaic panels are mainly composed of recyclable materials.


While this may have been a drag for some households for a long time, for a decade the cost of installing and maintaining photovoltaic panels has been falling. This can be explained in particular by technological progress in constant development, and increased installation production coupled with a reduction in the costs of the various components.

However, installing solar panels is still a significant investment. The price can vary between 6,000 and 35,000 euros, depending on the installed power (1 to 3 KWp and up to more than 10 KWp), the need for a battery to store energy, or even the installation costs. According to the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), photovoltaic panels have an estimated lifespan of 25 years minimum.

To help you financially in the installation of photovoltaic panels, you can benefit from the zero rate eco-loan and local financial aid.


Another advantage of solar energy , and not the least: whatever your mode of consumption, it will prove to be economical, even profitable. Thus, you can just as easily resell all of the electricity produced, simply benefit from the self-consumption of your energy or even decide to resell the surplus electricity. In all cases, your solar installations will allow you to reduce your energy costs and thus save money, even generate income.

Self-consumption of solar energy

To tend towards total consumption, and thus be autonomous, it is necessary to invest in batteries that will store solar energy not consumed immediately, and redistribute it in your home on days when the sun is not out.

Another possibility is to remain connected to the network so that it takes over when your photovoltaic installations cannot operate. A method that allows up to 600 euros in electricity savings per year (Ademe 2014 figures).

Solar energy resale

Regarding the resale of energy, it is good to know that EDF is subject to a solar purchase obligation, for a period of 20 years. Thus, for two decades, you have the certainty of being able to resell your electricity at a price agreed upon when the contract was signed and corresponding to the power of your solar panels. More concretely, you thus become an EDF supplier. The purpose of this purchase obligation is to encourage French households to turn to photovoltaics.