This is a very interesting article on the history and current state of the solar industry and the economics behind it. I think as storage technologies improve making solar power more of a round-the-clock "base generating" type of source, the more penetration it will have into the overall energy source mix. Until then other types of sources still need to be built to serve the load "when the sun don't shine" as they say. Certainly storage technologies will add to the cost per kw-hr when viewing this from a Utility standpoint, but all in all, the outlook for solar in markets that are competitive, flexible, and adaptive sounds promising. Although, I'm still curious to see what happens with the waste issues when all these silicon cells/panels reach the end of their useful life and need to be disposed of.
Interesting observation at the conclusion of the article with respect to the economics and financing aspect of solar industry growth.
How do we encourage the growth of solar energy? Aside from focused tax incentives to jump-start the market, we let the market decide. If the fiasco (for them, but beneficial for the rest of us) of Chinese over-production of solar panels shows us anything, it is that central planning doesn’t work. It never has and never will. The main problem of any command economy is that it lacks an information feedback loop. In the free market, price signals provide this information to producers and consumers concerning the need for a product or service and their inherent value, thus allowing efficient allocation of resources.