If you're worried about climate change and/or peaking world oil production, it seems to me that you have two choices. One: Accept a dramatic reduction in your and everybody else's standard of living as we effectively deindustrialize and return to the farm fields. Option Two: Push to make the economy as innovative as possible and as rewarding to entrepreneurs as possible. This piece of news from Technology Review (Efharisto to the FuturePundit) pertains to the latter point:
A company in Japan has developed a novel way of making solar cells that cuts production costs by as much as 50 percent. The photovoltaic (PV) cells are made up of arrays of thousands of tiny silicon spheres surrounded by hexagonal reflectors. The key advantage of the system is that it reduces the total amount of silicon required, says Mikio Murozono, president of Clean Venture 21 (CV21), based in Kyoto, Japan. "We use one-fifth of the raw silicon material compared with traditional PV cells," he says.