Photovoltaics (PV) is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect , a phenomenon studied in physics , photochemistry , and electrochemistry .
PV has become the cheapest source of electrical power in regions with a high potential.
Panel prices have dropped by the factor of 10 within a decade. This competitiveness opens the path to a global transition to sustainable energy which would be required help to mitigate global warming .
A photovoltaic system employs solar modules , each comprising a number of solar cells , which generate electrical power. PV installations may be ground-mounted, rooftop mounted, wall mounted or floating. The mount may be fixed or use a solar tracker to follow the sun across the sky.
Solar PV has specific advantages as an energy source: once installed, its operation generates no pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions , it shows simple scalability in respect of power needs and silicon has large availability in the Earth’s crust.