The Sun sends some 87 Petawatts of power our way and converting some small fraction of this into usable power is one of the key battlefronts in the fight to free the world from its addiction to oil.
One way to do this conversion is to turn light into electricity using flat photovoltaic panels. This form of power generation is rapidly expanding all over the world.
But it suffers from various problems that prevent its more widespread adoption, particularly at higher latitudes where the amount of energy that can be converted varies dramatically throughout the day and by season too.
This variation can be mitigated by solar tracking mounts but these are expensive and potential points of failure