solar power

There are many kinds of energy. But only one makes plants grow, drives the weather, and keeps our planet warm enough for life. It's solar energy, the heat and light from the Sun. Solar energy can also produce electricity. In one way, solar panels capture sunlight and convert it directly into electricity. In a different process, solar collectors use sunlight to generate electricity at solar power plants.

Definition: energy from the Sun that can be collected and turned into electricity
Carbon Dioxide Emissions: None!
Cost: getting cheaper (vs. other energy sources)
Location: works best in areas that receive
strong, consistent sunlight
Current Use: Solar power provides less than 1% of the world's energy, but this is growing rapidly.
Cool Fact: Solar panels are popular in Kenya. They power things like TVs, fans, and cell phones.

Image credits: main image, © Corbis/AGE Fotostock.