The phrase "solar energy" carries a heavy connotation of electricity generation, and it is indeed shorthand for the power generated by photovoltaics panels. But you can harness energy from sunlight in a number of different ways: the second most well-known is solar thermal, or solar hot water heating. This can either directly heat hot water for domestic use, or be part of indirect radiant heat systems. It can also power an air conditioner.
This blog title could have been a headline for The Onion not so long ago. And yet now, it's all in earnest. With oil topping $130 per barrel, a vehicle that gets somewhere around 10mpg suddenly seems like a burden rather than an asset. Remember when every new year seemed to bring another, bigger version of a GM SUV? Well, right now, "Eighteen of 19 planned new GM products will be cars or crossovers, and extra shifts will be added at plants that build some of its best selling compact cars, such as the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6." (GreenBiz)