Apparently, enough sunlight strikes the face of the earth in one hour to satisfy the entire globe's energy needs for a year. That's been the promise-and, thus far, the frustration-of solar power. While we're stressing about fossil fuels, ample free energy is literally falling on our heads. We just don't know how to harness it on a large scale.

So we were excited to see this announcement, from the clever folks at the MIT Energy Initiative, that we've cleared a major hurdle in the quest to make solar energy accessible. The MIT researchers discovered a new process by which solar energy can be used to split water efficiently. When the hydrogen and oxygen are recombined, new energy is produced. Sunlight could be used in this way to charge clean household power plants that work around the clock.

According to one scientist "The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated." (Read the article: they certainly give overstating it a shot, calling it a "major discovery," a "giant leap," and a "revolutionary leap.")

On first blush it does seem like a big breakthrough to us. Whether it's "revolutionary" or not, we're just happy to know there's a crack team at MIT using their talented brains to help humanity out of this energy mess.