Feature Reports

Solar, an Energy of the Future

 fr-Le solaire, énergie de demain
In just 50 minutes, the Sun generates the equivalent of the planet's annual energy consumption. © THINKSTOCK

While still accounting for only a tiny fraction of the global energy mix, solar energy — both photovoltaic and thermal — is emerging as a major energy of the future. Use of this inexhaustible, universally accessible and flexible energy source is growing exponentially throughout the world.

fr- Les deux formes du solaire

Photovoltaic technology directly converts sunlight into electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... . Solar thermal technology harnesses its heatIn the field of statistical thermodynamics today, heat refers to the transfer of the thermal agitation of the particles making up matter... . These different technologies both tap the Sun’s energy, locally and in large-scale solar farms.

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fr- Le solaire dans le mix énergétique mondial

Solar energy, in all its forms, accounts for less than 1% of the global energy mixThe range of energy sources of a region. . However, its rapid development should ensure it plays a vital role in the future energy landscape.

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fr-Le solaire : une énergie diffuse, accessible à tous

Both photovoltaic solar and solar thermal energy are remarkable in that they can be produced and consumed as needed, by anyone, rich or poor, and anywhere, in remote areas and city centers. The boundless and universally accessible nature of solar energy guarantees it a special place in the new energy uses of the future.

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Les centrales solaires thermodynamiques

Concentrated solar powerIn physics, power is the amount of energy supplied by a system per unit time. In simpler terms, power can be viewed as energy output... (CSP) plants concentrate the Sun's rays to produce extremely high temperatures, and in turn generate electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... . They differ from photovoltaic (PV) solar plants, which directly convert sunlight to electricity using photosensitive cells. 

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