Photovoltaics Update by Alex Wilson Solar energy has lost some of its excitement and urgency with the loss of residential-solar tax credits and the dramatic drop in oil prices. Indeed, the solar-hot-water industry has all but disappeared in this country—at least temporarily. Photovoltaics, on the other hand, has fared much better. Electricity prices are still increasing in much of the country, particularly in the Northeast. As PV costs drop, they become more and more cost-effective for remote applications. In general, photovoltaics is becoming a good long-term option for supplying electricity. Unfortunately, early estimates of how soon PV prices would drop to affordable levels were overly optimistic. Also, the government has cut funding for photovoltaics along with all other renewable-energy technologies. Nonetheless, the technology is progressing rapidly,