The SunMine project in Kimberley (see story SunMine means bright future for Kimberley) is putting Invermere’s neighbour to the south on the map as a leader in Canadian solar technology.

Although it’s a very small project that produces enough electricity to power just 200 homes, SunMine becoming an operational solar facility is really exciting news. It’s just one more example that the quest for more efficient energy sources minus the environmental damage that comes hand in hand with burning fossil fuels is making progress.

Last month, Hawaii set the goal of generating 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources. A new law mandates all of the state’s electricity must come from renewable resources no later than 1945.

According to Blue Planet Foundation, which drafted the legislation, it’s thought this goal can be achieved earlier, by 2030. And to make sure the target can be reached, there is an interim requirement to reach 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and 70 per cent by 2040.

As a small group of tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii obviously has a leg up when it comes to harnessing sun and wind, but Blue Planet Foundation’s president makes a valuable point: “Hawaii is sending a signal to the world that 100 percent renewable energy isn’t just a vision, it’s a commitment.”

Also last month, a team of Michigan State University researchers revealed they’ve developed a fully transparent solar concentrator that could turn any sheet of glass (like a smartphone screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Windows could become solar collecting surfaces without obstructing the view (find The Future is Clear on YouTube). Forget solar farms and facilities — this could mean solar cities… a solar civilization.

Soaking up the sun is making more and more sense.