Solar energy can be converted directly or indirectly into electricity by the use of the solar electric technologies:
Photovoltaics (PV) system
Photovoltaics (PV) is the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells for energy production by converting the solar radiation (sunlight, including sun ultra violet radiation) directly into electricity using the photovoltaic effect.
The PV systems can be grid conected or off grid. Off grid system or stand alone systems are the so called solar home systems (SHS).
In the case of concentrating solar power the solar radiation is concentrated into a small area. This heats up a flud that is used to power a heat engine conected to a generator to produce electricity.
Solar Bottle Bulbs
Solar bottle bulbs were first developed in Brazil and since then has been adopted in different parts of the world.
Read more about solar bottles here.