Popular Mechanics: MIT announced on Thursday afternoon a new method of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, predicting that it will unleash a "solar revolution." And they're partly right.
The news is perfectly timed to catch a wave of enthusiasm for all things solar, as a number of different sun-powered technologies are finally approaching maturity as scalable and cost-effective options. Companies like First Solar have succeeded in bringing second-generation, silicon-free solar panels to the market at half the cost of traditional silicon panels, and the first in a wave of utility-scale plants for solar-thermal energy went online outside Las Vegas last year. MIT itself is so excited about solar power that it has announced no less than three solar revolutions in the last six weeks, starting with "the most cost-efficient solar-power system in the world" on June 18, and adding "a new approach to harnessing the sun's energy" on July 10.
Kurzweil's prediction that solar will be capable of providing 100% of the world's energy needs by 2028 is beginning to sound plausible.