While this site is principally dedicated to, and focused on, solar cooking we realize that there are a number of ways that solar energy can be utilized for the benefit of the human race and the well being of our lands and natural resources.
Admittedly one of the best sources for information on the subject can be found at Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, where you will find an exhaustive compendium of information and references on the subject.
Most people are familiar with the more renowned solar energy technologies (listed below) that are widely available on the market today and designed to harness the power of the sun for use in generating electricity.
Solar Panels, or as they are more technically known, photovoltaic panels; are comprised of a number of photovoltaic cells tied together with an electrical wiring structure that, when exposed to the sun will generate electricity for use by the consumer of such.
Solar Thermal Collectors which may include solar hot water panels; used for heating water, and other collectors such as a solar parabolic, solar trough and solar towers. These are designed to collect heat, or rather, absorb sunlight to create heat. These collectors are mainly used to heat water to produce steam to run turbines that generate electricity.
See:Solar Thermal Collectors
Solar Energy is also used for heating of water for residential and industrial uses for bathing, cooking, sterilizing, heating and cooling and more. This form of solar energy conversion is accomplished in a manner very similar to the solar thermal collectors used for "steam-to-turbine-to-electrical" generation.
To find out more detailed explanation of solar energy principles, ideas and systems we invite you to visit the Solar Energy Wikipedia at: Solar Power
Other alternative energy sources include; hydro (water) wind, geothermal, wave power and tidal power.
All of these are currently available to one degree or other as viable sources of energy albeit some are not as economically feasible as others due to labor, material and developmental costs.
A number of governments and businesses are developing and advancing these different technologies to variable degrees.
Others have implemented large wind power generating farms. Wind Power
Australia is taking advantage of their abundant solar energy capacity, this being one among many other less developed resources.
Iceland has one of the worlds most advanced geothermal systems along with Kenya, Mexico and the Philippines. Geothermal
These are just a few examples of the many throughout the world on small and large scales being developed and implemented for the benefit of both the individual, private enterprise and the world as a whole.
You can find further information at the aforementioned sites and also information from manufacturers and installers of these available systems and technologies by visiting some of out partner sites below.