You may have seen solar panels on rooftops and perhaps even a solar farm, with acres and acres of black, shiny panels hoisted on racks. Inside these panels are photovoltaic cells, and their job is to turn light into electricity. These cells function, according to NASA, by transforming photons from sunlight into electrons. When the electrons are passed through a semiconductor, it creates a current that can be made into electricity. Another less common form of solar energy is solar thermal, which concentrates the sun’s rays on mirrors to heat a fluid (usually water). The steam from that fluid powers a turbine that makes electricity.
Wind turbines generate electricity using similar principles as fossil fuel production, just using a different fuel source. If you look at the wind turbine, the electricity is being made at high altitude, right inside the cylinder shape behind the rotating blades. The wind pushes the blades into motion, which turns a shaft. This chain of motion eventually leads to a generator that makes electricity. The electricity then travels down the stem of the turbine and is taken to transmission lines to be transported and distributed to customers