The solar power age arrives

Sun worshipers, rejoice! Two announcements in December signaled that the solar-power age may soon be upon us. First, San Jose start-up company Nanosolar developed a printing-press-like process to produce flexible, ultra-thin solar cells. Earning Popular Science’s 2007 Innovation of the Year award, Nanosolar says the nanotechnology cells will finally make solar power cheaper than energy produced by coal burning. Second, the lights were turned on at North America’s largest solar electric plant at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The plant’s 72,000 solar panels will save 24,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. With cheaper, more abundant solar sources available, it seems brighter days are ahead.