U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Building Technologies

Sun is a clean and abundant primary source of energy from the universe. Every hour sunlight
energy strikes (4.3 x 1020 Joules) onto Earth is more than sufficient to fulfill the global energy
demand for a year (4.1 x 1020 Joules) which is equivalent to 13 trillion watts or 13 terawatts
(TW) (Lewis, 2005). Solar energy plays a significant role among the renewable sources of
energy and currently, it is being developed with extensive research and testing. It serves to be
one of the most promising renewable sources of energy providing an affordable, low
environmental impact, sustainable social and economic development energy services. It has very
high potential and can generate unlimited amount of energy and electricity as it is solely
dependent on the sun as its source. The potential of the solar energy has to be channelized and
explored as a solution for the depleting sources of non-renewable energy resources. There are
many companies who are trying to explore the possibilities of using solar energy for various
other purposes other than electricity generation. Solar energy has received attention and
reflecting its high suitability regard to resource availability, cost-competitiveness and matching
regional demand patterns. Increasing the use of renewable sources of energy and making
technological innovations for implementing solar energy, in particular, serves to be the main
objective for Singapore.
2.3 Photovoltaic development
Radiative energy from the sun provides by far the largest of all carbon-neutral energy. The
process to harness and convert this energy into electricity is through PV effect via solar cells. In
general, PV means “light-electricity” whereby “photo” originated from the Greek word phõs
meaning light and “Volt” is an abbreviation named under Alessandro Volta’s (1745-1827) who
was a pioneer in the development study of electricity