Now for those of you whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of solar power, let me tell you this about the new solar: it's not your grandfather's solar and it's certainly not the 70's anymore either.
And no matter how much it may be ingrained into your mind that solar power is just some sort of distortional fantasy, nothing could be further from the truth.
Because not only have the times themselves changed, but they are in the process of being transformed in ways that will alter the way we think about solar forever.
Leading this stunning transformation, as usual is a next generation technology. It's called thin film solar.
It's smaller, cheaper, and more efficient than its silicon based predecessors and it now stands poised to shake the industry from out of its doldrums.
In fact, its emergence in to the market is expected to help the solar industry grow from $11 billion in 2005 to $51 billion in 2015 according to a projection by Clean Edge Inc., a market research firm that is focused on clean technology.
And since those numbers are hardly the types of figures that you can roll your eyes at, numerous companies are working to stake themselves a thin film claim.
Leading the way in this space is Nanosolar Inc., a private Palo Alto company that was founded with a little seed money from the Google guys themselves, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Founded in 2001, Nanosolar recently made the type of an announcement that changes landscapes. In fact, just last June the company announced that they were going to build the world's largest factory for making solar power cells.
And while this announcement may have failed to move some, to the solar power industry, the news was a tsunami. In one fell swoop, the nation's solar manufacturing process would triple, making the U.S. the second largest solar manufacturer. Only the Japanese would be larger.
Even more stunning was capacity of the plant itself. According to Nanosolar's CEO, Martin Roschesien, the plant will turn out enough solar cells each year to generate 430 megawatts. That's enough electricity to power about 325,000 homes.
Once started, the Nanosolar plant will produce a new type of material that will blow away the existing silicon based panels at 1/10 of the cost. And in doing so, this new technology promises to make solar competitive with fossil based fuels- even if those fuels drop drastically in prices.
In short, it is the solar equivalent of the Holy Grail.