Two types of technologies are used in these solar power plants:
Solar panels using photovoltaic cells: These solar panels can be installed on the ground as well as on the rooftops as solar farms to convert energy received directly from sunlight into electrical energy.
Concentrated solar power plants: These CSPs, also known as concentrated solar thermal power plants, use thermal energy of the sun to make steam which can be converted into electrical energy with the help of a turbine.
The solar energy growth projections all over the world vary from country to country. The capacity of these solar power plants has increased from 40 GW to over 178 GW or GigaWatt in 2014, which is enough to replace 1 % of 18,400 TWh, the total present consumption of electrical energy throughout the world.
In early years China and Japan were among the top installer of solar energy projects all over the world but today several leading European countries including France and Germany, USA and UK have also emerged as the providers of solar energy power plants.
Germany has remained the largest producer of solar power plants for one year by installing plants of 38.2 GW capacity. South Africa and Chile are among the new entrants in the list of top 10 installers of solar power plants in the world.
Today more than 20 countries all over the world are producing various types of solar power plants up to the capacity of over 1GW.
It is estimated that the solar energy produced today all over the world is sufficient to reduce the consumption of traditional electrical energy by 7-8%.