Japanese firms to partially propel cargo ship via solar panels

First things first -- when we say "partially" propel, we mean partially. Nippon Yusen and energy distributor Nippon Oil are teaming up to spend around $1.37 million in order to equip a car-hauling cargo ship with 328 solar panels. Rather than just provide energy for the crew's on board entertainment system, it will be the first solar installation to actually produce a smidgen of power for the boat's engine. If successful, the panels would provide 0.2% of the ship's energy consumption for propulsion, and they're hoping to raise that to a whopping 1% by 2010. Gives a whole new meaning to "baby steps," huh?