Solar electricity enables you to generate electricity by harnessing the sun’s rays. Requiring only daylight, solar panels produce electricity to power your home or export to the grid, even on cloudy days. Solar electricity is sometimes known as Solar Photovoltaic, or Solar PV. Most installations (in England) do not require any planning permission. Photovoltaic systems use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity. The solar collector consists of one or two layers of a semi conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow.