According to the Department of Energy, solar panels could, if placed on about 0.5% of America’s mainland landmass, provide for all of our current electricity needs.

Clean-energy fever is being fuelled by three things: high oil prices, fears over energy security and a growing concern about global warming. The provision of energy, the industry’s cheerleaders say, will change radically over the coming decades. Polluting coal-and gas-fired power stations will give way to cleaner alternatives such as solar and wind; fuels derived from plants and waste will supplant gasoline and diesel; and small, local forms of electricity generation will replace mammoth power stations feeding far-flung grids.

For more from writer, Maurice Barnfather, on this subject, see “Solar Power,” Rightside Advisors.