Monday, February 16, 2004

Solar energy's cloudy past

Solar energy, like many technologies (DVD, hybrid vehicles), showed promise years before it gained widespread acceptance. In the case of solar energy, it has taken about 50 years for manufacturing processes and supporting technology to demonstrate the practicality of this infinitely renewable energy source. Trouble is that at the moment other nations (Germany and Japan) are leapfrogging the U.S., capitalizing on the benefits of solar power while Amercans puzzle over an energy policy (enacted by the present short-sighted administration) that leans heavily toward coal and petroleum. This historical perspective on the slow, steady advances in solar energy, Solar energy's cloudy past / Advocates say 50-year-old industry is finally in a position to heat up, shows that it's really here--if only we recognize it.