Concise introduction to the basic principles of solar energy, photovoltaic (PV) systems, PV cells, PV measurement techniques, and grid connected systems, overviewing the potential of PV electricity for students and engineers new to the topic. Starting with the basic principles of solar energy, this practical text explains the fundamentals of semiconductor physics and the structure and functioning of the solar cell. It describes current measurement techniques for solar modules, and the planning and operation of grid-connected and off-grid PV systems. Key features: clarifies the technical and economic perspectives of PV energy generation, whilst providing an overview on the current economic status; discusses the future development of PV, including efficient promotion instruments and price development each chapter; contains various exercises and descriptive examples, with operation results from concrete PV plants an accompanying website hosting exercise solutions, links to further PV references, and free downloads of the figures and additional software. This is an essential text for renewable energy students, technicians and engineers wanting to know how solar cells work and how to design a complete PV plant. It is also a useful resource for PV installers, planners, operators, consultants, financers, potential energy investors and politicians.