Very simply, solar power is the energy of the sun which can be used to generate heat or electricity. It is clean (no fumes), quiet (unlike diesel generators) and renewable (unlike coal and other fossil fuels which take years to renew, the sun's rays hit the earth everyday).
There are two broad ways in which we use the sun's energy — its heat or thermal property (e.g. solar water heater) and light or photovoltaic power (eg. a solar cell that can power your pocket calculator or an entire city).
Every second the sun produces enough energy to sustain the earth's needs for 500,000 years. But, why use it?
It's economically sensible: The cost of conventional electricity is rising every year. After the initial cost of installing solar infrastructure in your home or workplace, you have zero recurring costs on solar power supply.
It's environmentally sustainable: Let's face it, we are using coal and other fossil fuels much faster than it can renew itself. As a result, the world is running out of non-renewable resources. The sun,on the other hand, shines everyday.
Research suggests that a 1kW solar power system saves 77 kg of coal from being burned, 397 litres of water from being consumed and 136 kg of Co2 from being released into the atmosphere.