Just a few years ago, clean energy naysayers claimed it wasn’t affordable or realistic to power our lives with the sun. But as President Obama recently noted, that is no longer true.
In conjunction with strong solar policies, recent technological advancements make capturing more clean energy from the sun a reality. And in doing so, we can reach a goal of at least 10 percent solar energy by 2030, as we continue on our way to 100 percent renewable energy in the United States.
We’ve documented how every one of our 50 states has the technical potential to generate more electricity from the sun than it uses in an average year.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few of those technological advancements that are making it even easier to affordably plan, produce, and store clean renewable solar energy.
Here are some spotlight innovations of recent months:
1) Project Sunroof: Can you go solar? Google it! 
Would it be practical for you to put solar on you home? How much sun hits your roof? How much money would you save? These are the questions a new Google online tool will help you answer “without having to climb up any ladders,” says the company. They will also help connect you to solar providers in your area. Project Sunroof is currently only available in Boston, San Francisco, and Fresno, CA, but has plans to expand.
2) Transparent solar cells: It’s what you can’t see. 
The sun hits more of your home than just the roof, but not many people want blue windows. So what if you could have clear, transparent solar windows? Soon you can! A research team at Michigan State recently developed completely transparent solar cells — and they don’t just work on windows. The new technology could even eventually go on your cell phone screen.
3) Tesla’s home battery: Save some solar for later. 
Advancements in energy storage technology are happening fast. New home storage batteries have the capacity to completely change the energy playing field. A reliable home battery would make it easy to use stored solar energy at nighttime and during rainstorms; it even enhances the possibility of going off the grid altogether. The new battery developed by Tesla may not be quite there yet , but its potential to shape the way we consume and use energy can’t be overstated.
Technological barriers to powering our life with solar energy are crumbling by the day. Coupled with the right mix of solar policies enacted by federal, state and local officials, clean energy technologies will continue to help us tap into the power of the sun.
To help make that happen, sign here to stand up for pro-solar policies in your state.
A 100% renewable future is no longer science fiction. The future is happening today.