Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, utilizes the light from the sun to produce power. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is available anywhere on earth. Solar energy is free, immune to rising energy prices, and can be used to provide heat, lighting, mechanical power and electricity. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world now faces.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels (solar panels) and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
View an animation demonstrating how solar works and how shade can effect solar performance.
SC Interactive Solar Map
Please note this data is from SCE&G, Santee Cooper, and Duke Energy as of July 2018 only and is self-reported from the electric providers.