Making hay while the sun shines
With more energy from the sun reaching Earth in an hour than we humans use in a year, it's no wonder that people have come up with myriad ways to use that power -- including a recent project announced by Google X for using solar-powered balloons to bring Internet access around the world.
Here are 11 other solar projects that are either in use today or in development. Some have humanitarian aims, such as a solar-powered toilet and waste treatment system meant for areas of the world that lack adequate sanitary facilities. Others, like a racecar powered by 2,000 solar cells, are just plain cool. All will make you sit up and take notice.