Thanks to steeply falling prices, solar power keeps breaking records for new installations. But it still makes up less than 1% of total energy production in the U.S. The chances are good that you probably don’t yet have solar panels on your roof yet.
Now, however, you can run your gadgets on solar just by using a different outlet. Plug your laptop into the SunPort, and it will automatically calculate how much power you’re drawing from the grid—and “upgrade” you to solar instead of coal, natural gas, or whatever else your local utility happens to use.
“It’s all about the democratization of solar energy,” says Paul Droege, inventor of the SunPort. Droege believes that solar power is still mostly limited to affluent households (though President Obama’s new plan to install solar panels on low-income homes should help change that), and that others just don’t see themselves as likely candidates for solar, as much as they might like the idea.