Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity by using a semiconductor, usually made of silicon. When the sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells, part of the energy is absorbed into the semiconductor. When that happens the energy loosens the electrons which allow them to flow, creating electric current. When you put a conductor (normally metal) on the top and bottom of these photovoltaic cells, that current can now be used externally.
Recent interest in solar energy in Zimbabwe has been driven by, among other things, the following important developments: