Johannes Dahl, of German company Thermovolt, fixes a solar panel on the roof of the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, on Sept. 29, 2008. A total of 2,400 panels were installed in order to provide 300,000 kilowatt hours of energy which will be used to illuminate, heat, and cool the building where the pontiff holds his general audiences in the winter and in bad weather. Concerts in honor of the pontiff are also staged in the 6,300-seat hall. In the background St. Peter's Basilica can be seen. Riccardo De Luca/AP/FILE
Car designer Konrad Ciaramella sits in the Solarfox, the car raced by University College London in the 2007 World Solar Challenge, on display in the London Science Museum on February 19, 2008. UPPA/Photoshot/Newscom/FILE
This July 14, 2001 file photo shows the unmanned Helios aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean after taking off from Barking Sands, Kauai Island, Hawaii. The solar-powered aircraft set two new world altitude records on August 13, 2001 as it soared to 96,500 feet, US space officials said. Hyngwon Kang/AFP/Newscom/FILE
Technician Gerd Seeloff of German company Colexon Energy checks the solar panels of the world's largest roof solar power station made from First Solar thin-film modules in Hassleben, Germany, on July 15. The photo-voltaic roof facility, which consists of more than 64,000 modules on over 600,000 square feet, was officially inaugurated on July 16. The solar power station will generate 4.37 million kilowatt hours of solar power per year. Nestor Bachman/Newscom
A newly-built tricycle equiped with a folding solar panel is seen driven by its inventor, a 41-year-old resident in Changchun, on April 8, in Jilin Province, China. Niu Yan/ChinaFotoPress/Newscom
President Barack Obama looks at solar panels at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev., on Wednesday, May 27. Charles Dharapak/AP
A Chinese employee works at the Yingli Group's photovoltaic manufacturing plant, building solar power modules, in Baoding City, Hebei Province on June 24. China, the world's number two energy user and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is mapping out a plan to stimulate its renewable energy sector, including wind and solar power. China is the world's largest solar-panel producer. Stephen Shaver/UPI/Newscom
Backdropped by the blackness of space and the Earth's horizon, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery on March 25. The space station is powered by solar arrays on wings that track the sun throughout each orbit to maximize the amount of solar energy captured. NASA via CNP/Newscom
This aerial view shows numerous solar panels at a huge photovoltaics plant in the former military training area in Lieberose, Germany, on July 7. German firm juwi Solar GmbH constructed the world's second largest solar plant and the largest in Germany on 400 acres with an output of 53 megawatts. Patrick Pleul/Newscom
Tommie Nellon shows off his invention, a hat that uses solar panels mounted to the brim to activate a fan that keeps the head cool, on January 7, 2008, in Fresno, California. Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/MCT/Newscom/FILE
The Swiss Solar Taxi, driven by Louis Palmer, cruises down Fifth Avenue in New York on September 9, 2008. The electric-powered taxi is the first solar- powered car to ever circle the world, starting in Lucerne, Switzerland in July 2007. The vehicle tows a trailer equipped with solar panels that provide it with the energy that it needs. Frances M. Roberts/Newscom/FILE
Workers fix solar panels on the top floor of the Chinese Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo Site, on July 25. 1,264 solar energy panels will be fixed on the top floor of the Chinese Pavilion, which could generate 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity per hour on sunny days. Newscom
The five women, all veteran activists, were arrested in Beijing last month for planning a public campaign against sexual harassment. China has previously resisted criticism from abroad towards its detention policies.
Sidestepping a snowballing international public relations disaster, China on Monday evening freed five women who had been detained since early March for organizing a campaign against sexual harassment.