Introduction: Topic strings drive paper

This is an introduction of a paper on Photocells written in 2001 when solar energy was starting. The introductin hides the novel THM of the paper: the remote uses of solar energy are so special that many will pay to install even with the present weaknesses. That special use may give solar energy a breathing spell while developers overcome its two main weaknesses. The first intro fails to do the job. Is the revision below any better?

Original. The use of solar cells has been of public and scientific interest for many years. One device that can collect the sun's energy is the photocell. The phenomena that describes the physics of photocell operation is the photoelectric effect. The photocell uses the photoelectric effect to convert solar energy into electrical energy. Photocells today are inefficient at this energy conversion, however. The combination of the photocell's inefficiency and its high cost make it impractical for most situations. There has been significant development of the technology, however, and these developments make the photocell a viable energy source in remote locations. There is still work being done to improve the photocell and further improvements will lead to more widespread use in these locations.

While it raises topic strings, there are problems:   Is prolix and repetitive.   Uses "to be" verb too often.   Has weak endings ("however," "in these locations.")

Revision. Increasing interest in using solar energy has spurred the steady development of the photocell based on the photoelectric effect. These efforts have to overcome two central problems: (i) a seeming limit of 20 percent efficiency in converting solar energy; (2) a cost roughly ten times what is needed for commercial viability. But the long-term reliability of maintenance-free photocells makes them ideal in remote locations. This long-term market by itself will stimulate development of new, cheaper and more efficient photocell materials.

What topic strings should dominate the paper?

This example was written in 2001. Is it still true? How would you undate it or the paper that goes with it?