It been pretty much understood that solar panels need sunlight. Direct sunlight, that is, and lots of it. GreenSun Energy has developed panels that just need bright light, but they don't have to have the light shining directly on them. When light hits the panels, it's diffused to solar receptors in the edges of the panels.
Using jewel-toned plates, the solar concentrators capture from a wide spectrum of light. Even on a cloudy day, they'll produce electricity, although less than on a sunny day with direct light. They're even cheaper than traditional panels, since they don't use as much silicon as standard panels.
Think of all the placement opportunities. Northern locales, shady lots, and Seattle - rejoice.