The world urgently needs to overhaul its energy policy, away from fossil fuels to renewables before 2050, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned earlier this month.
Furthermore, according to the World Bank, just under 20 percent of the world's population is still without access to electricity, most of them in Africa and Asia. Meanwhile, in the developed world, energy costs have soared, and cash-strapped consumers are increasingly looking to slash bills.
Some designers and manufacturers are starting to rise to the challenge presented by these problems by unveiling products that harness the power of the sun, making them not only clean but also a great way to save a few bucks. Here are some examples.
By CNBC's Alice Tidey.