The sun is a potent energy source and the most significant energy source. Solar energy is the conversion of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation into valuable forms of energy. The amount of sunlight that hits the Earth every hour can supply the world’s energy for a year.

This information should give you an idea of how much energy the world can generate every year using the sun’s radiation. We can use solar energy to generate electricity, provide lighting, and heat water.

Solar energy can be converted in different ways based on its other types to harness this energy for these purposes. In this article, we explore five types of solar energy. Please keep reading to find out what they are.

The 5 Main Types of Solar Energy

The various types of solar energy demonstrate the multiple benefits of solar energy; each one has a unique advantage.

1. Photovoltaics (PV)

Photovoltaics use solar panels to convert direct sunlight to electricity. Photovoltaics absorb sunlight and use light energy to create electric currents. They are among the more popular solar energy types.

Photovoltaics are important because they provide a clean and green energy source and don’t emit greenhouse gases. They can also generate electricity anywhere. Photovoltaics don’t produce any noise and are low maintenance. So, they can be used in your car while traveling.

2. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

CSP is a form of energy that uses mirrors and lenses to generate power by directing a sufficient amount of sunlight to a receiver. It focuses the sun’s energy, using the mirror or lens, converting it to heat that generates steam to drive a turbine to generate electrical power.

The four types of CSP technologies include concentrating linear Fresnel reflector, dish, solar power tower, and parabolic trough

3. Water Heating Solar Energy

This uses a sun-facing collector to heat the fluid. It’ll then be passed into a storage system with a heat exchanger where water is heated around pipes containing the heated fluid. Countries with hotter weather are more likely to enjoy this type of solar energy.

4. Solar Pool Heating

As the name implies, this type of solar energy is used to warm-up pools. If you’ve tried running a heating system through your pool to keep it warm, then you’ll agree with us that it’s costly.

However, you can reduce this cost by using energy derived from the sun. This works the same way water heating solar energy works; heat conductors capture heat from the sun and turn it into energy and hot water.

This system consists of four major components: the solar collector, pump, filter, and valve.

5. Thermal Solar Energy

This type of solar energy, just like all the other types, utilizes the heat from the sun. Here, electricity is produced when water flows through tubes to collect power from the sun.

This type of solar energy is ideal for working with steam turbines and is cost-effective and space-efficient. It’s also a far less complex technology than the others, making it perfect for heating water.


The five types of solar energy help move us away from overreliance on traditional methods of generating heat and electricity. They are easily adaptable to fit into any of our energy needs.