Designer Eric Hawkins has come up with a great idea and made it a reality. He has invented light weight fold away solar panels that can be attached to a beach umbrella. It's called the "Solarbrella." Two USB cables allow beach goers to plug in and use 25 watts of electric power. The cost of one of these "Solarbrellas" is about $489.00.
Eric is also working on a larger version of the original which will generate 60 watts of electricity that can run a lap top for 11 hours. The estimated cost is $770.00.
I'm sure these prices will come down if "Solarbrellas" become popular but as far as I'm concerned a quiet day at the beach will always work for me.