We all like to think we’re doing our best for the planet’s environment. We care about the birds that sing outside our window, the flowers that bloom on our shrubs, and want the color of the sky to be pure and blue and unclouded with pollution. The little piece of serenity of our backyard garden should be our entire world, unfortunately many problems still exist and these inventions and processes help to return a bit of the purity and green planet Earth. In doing so, many of these inventions change our view of what life will be like in the future.
Solar Powered Tree Acts as a Streetlight
Instead of a traditional streetlamp with the metal post and the light hanging over the street, someday you may find as you drive down your street an aluminum tree painted in bright colors with six branches. Each branch is equipped with solar cell panels that help maximize the light that reach their surface. Inside the trunk, batteries store the generated power that is used to power a 48W LED lamp in a design by Vinaccia Integral Design. This is especially innovative because it has an interesting design and ensures more access to sunlight and to power.
Solar Generating Ink Printed on Paper and Plastics Can Create Eco-friendly Low Power Signs
Process development at Plextronics is changing how solar cells are created with the invention of PV 2000, a solar cell ink that can print on paper or other surfaces. This means purchase and replacement costs can be low and the toxic waste of batteries can be minimized. Additionally, the company’s use of low-temperature process minimizes some of the higher costs of productions. This is especially innovative because it changes how people think about messages and solar cells.
Bacteria Reaction with Waste Materials Generates Power
Students from Harvard designed a battery using the reaction of bacteria with waste materials to create a electrical current. The microbial battery is inexpensive to make and use and was tested in Africa.  What is especially innovative about this project is the use of ordinary, readily available resources to generate current and maybe giving access to electricity to more people.
Solar Power Panel Inventions Enhances Solar Panel Performance
Sun Mizer created an easy to use module that attaches to a solar panel circuit. It improves performance by disconnecting the shaded power panel from the rest of the solar panel circuit. 
And CalTech researches came up with a method of using microwires grown from silane gas embedded in a rubbery polymer to create a solar cell. The performance is equivalent to solar cell panels, but at a much reduced cost since less costly silicon.
By reducing power losses and costs of solar panels and by making them more flexible to use, it greatly improves the overall performance and availability of solar energy for the average customer.
Solar Power Glass Means Your Windows Could Be a Source of Power Gain Instead of Loss
A glass developed in China called the Chin Hua solar glass produces solar energy like other solar power panels and is only slightly cloudy. This means solar power can be used in conjunction with natural light to illuminate a room. One of the reasons this is so innovative is windows tend to be a place of heat loss or cooling loss in most homes, so by generating power, any loss is recovered.
 “Solar Trees harvest energy during the day to illuminate the night”, Instablogs.com, July 10, 2010
 “Plexcore PV 2000 for Energy Harvesting”, Space Daily (2010). General One File. Web. 11 July 2010
 “Harvard students harvest electric current from bacteria in soil.” Instablogs, June 12, 2010
 “Energy Harvester recovers power normally lost due to shade.” Thomas Industrial Network, June 14,2010, http://xandex.nl
”Saving silicon in solar cells: a microwire composite could help reduce the cost of solar power.”, Technology Review, May-Jun 2010
 “Let sun shine in through solar windows that produce energy”, Instablogs.com, June 10, 2010, via http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/09/hua-qin-solar-glass-generates-electricity-lets-most-of-the-su/