Solar Energy technology is not the same as solar panel in the sense of photovoltaic technology. Solar thermal electric energy generation concentrates or collects energy from the sun to create heat, and that heat is used to run a heat engines which turns a generator to make electricity or, heats domestic water, or preheats ventilation. The working fluid that is heated by the concentrated sunlight can be a liquid or a gas. Different working fluids include water, oil, salts, air, nitrogen, helium, etc.
Our sun produces 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts of energy every second and the belief is that it will last another 5 billion years.