Here, slather on some of this sunblock. It's awfully sunny where we're going, and you know what they say about UV rays.

Solar power isn't yet the most efficient power source, nor the most pervasive. But a quick drive around my hometown shows an increasing number of roof-mounted power panels, and companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) have started to power some of their facilities with the life-giving rays of the sun. In the background, companies like BP (NYSE:BP) and BASF (NYSE:BF) are working hard to make photovoltaic cells cheaper, more efficient, and longer-lasting.

Riding the crest of this solar power wave is Chinese solar cell manufacturer SunTechPower (NYSE:STP). This Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation was happy to strut its stuff in this morning's earnings report, where it presented nearly triple the revenues -- from $41.9 million last year to $128.2 million this time around. There was also a mind-bending 19 times greater net earnings than the comparable 2005 quarter -- $26.5 million versus $1.4 million a year ago.

Sales grew like wildfire -- thanks to a new production line pumping out solar cells, higher average prices per megawatt of cells sold, and expansion into several exciting new markets such as Greece, Japan, and France. Perhaps more importantly, operating costs were kept on a tight leash -- except for R&D expenses, and you may already know how I feel about the importance of R&D to growing tech companies. The resulting 20.7% net margin made last year's 3.4% margin look silly, and it was a decent follow-up to last quarter's 21.4% mark.

The company continues to plan for the future as well, as evidenced by the R&D investment and a long-term materials supply contract with MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR), which guarantees a plentiful supply of silicon at reasonable rates. It looks like David Gardner's investment thesis for SunTech in Rule Breakers is playing out nicely, and it's just a matter of the market recognizing the value locked in those shares. You might need these sunglasses, buddy -- the future is that bright.

Further Foolishness:

SunTech is a Rule Breakers recommendation, Microsoft is an Inside Value pick, Johnson & Johnson has been singled out for our Income Investor readers, and FedEx is a Stock Advisor choice. The companies investing in solar power look like quality outfits, indeed. Try a free 30-day pass to any of our services to learn more.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, and has no solar panels on his roof -- yet. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure is always fully powered.