A group of organizations representing Southeastern rate payers are arguing against proposed changes to PURPA by FERC, noting - among other items - that long term contracts at fixed, publicly available pricing is necessary to fight against the monopoly power of local utilities.
NREL has published a paper showing an experimental solar cell, with a unique technique for wiring two separate solar cells into one, that increased the cell's efficiency by 4%. As well the document offer a respectable review of other technologies being developed.
Researchers see wind and solar headed to over 40% of US electricity generation, even without major national policy. However, analysts project that beyond 40%, the intermittent nature of these sources will drive costs higher without nuclear power than with it.