A Sunny Forecast

Always cleaner than fossil fuels, renewable power sources may soon be just as cheap

Arrayed along the pipelines of Enron Oil & Gas in the American Southwest is a series of boxy monitors that transmit data about the flow of the company's precious fossil fuels. The telecommunications devices draw their power not from the fuels they monitor but from shiny panels that capture the energy of the sun. Are these solar-powered invaders of the oil patch the technological portents of a coming era? Or are they merely emblematic of the bit part solar has played thus far in the world's energy equation? No one knows for sure, but corporate investors, who have been wary for...

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