IT WAS IN OUTER SPACE that we first started harvesting electricity from the sun, powering telescopes that peered into the mysteries of faraway planets and moons. Out there on satellites that whiz by at thousands of miles an hour, blinking in the night sky, we began our first attempts at powering ourselves with sustainable sources. Images from space allowed us to see our tiny planet as a floating island, self-contained yet delicate and fragile.
We build everything with the knowledge that it will one day collapse, crumble back into its constituent parts, return to the earth from whence it came. Yet our solar system contains huge quantities of rock, metal, and gas. The sun explodes with energy, ...