TreeHugger has an interesting interview with Dan Porras, the VP of sustainability at Better Energy Systems, which makes the Solio solar charger pictured here.
He talks about personal energy generation, which devices like the Solio enable, and reckons the renewable energy tipping point is nearing:
TH: Are we on the cusp of a tipping point regarding renewable energy, clean technology, and solar in particular?
DP: The solar market is definitely moving in the right direction, but the limiting factor is polysilicon. Polysilicon is very expensive and there is not currently enough of it being processed to meet the demands of both the solar and semiconductor industries. Thin film solar, however, uses a fraction of the polysilicon as traditional PV and could be just what we need to make solar cost-competitive and boost it into the mainstream for good. In California, where the cost of electricity is high and we have decent incentives for solar, we are closer to seeing the day when solar will compete with fossil fuel-based electricity.