Legend has it in the third century BC, the Greek scientist Archimedes devised a spectacular weapon to save the ancient city of Syracuse – a giant concave mirror that bounced concentrated sunbeams onto the sails of invading roman ships. The sails caught fire, the ships sank, and Syracuse was saved. This may have been the only time the sun was harnessed to wage war.
But now, in the heart of the Middle East, the sun is a player in the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. Some say the sun will soon be harnessed in the service of peace. Others wonder if the peace process itself will undermine the prospects for developing clean solar power at a time when developing renewable energy is becoming more and more critical.