Did you know? A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell, is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.
According to the SolarPower Europe report, the European Union installed around 8.0 GW of solar power systems in 2018; that is a 36% year-on- year increase over the 5.9 GW connected to the grid in EU-28 in 2017, according to an estimate from SolarPower Europe, the association for the solar power sector in Europe. Solar installations in Europe as a whole grew by around 20% to 11.0 GW in 2018, up from 9.2 GW the year before.
The photovoltaic effect was experimentally demonstrated first by French physicist Edmond Becquerel. In 1839, at age 19, he built the world's first photovoltaic cell in his father's laboratory. In 1883 Charles Fritts built the first solid state photovoltaic cell; the device was only around 1% efficient. The most efficient solar panels on the market today have efficiency ratings that exceed 22%.
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