This is a topic I have been very interested in for a long time and I believe we are at a point in the solar energy evolution that augmentation of solar energy into our conventional energy is already happening. Solar panel costs have fallen by 60% in the past 3 years and the cost of other solar system equipment have fallen by 50%. The southern states that get a ton on sunlight have made the switch already that the utility companies are not incetivicing the home owner for putting back solar energy back on the grid. The utility companies have never faced with a situation like this never before. The tables have turned and we the consumers are now in a position to sell energy back to the utility company. The utility companies are now charging a fee for us to use their infrastructure. The southern states if connected to the rest of the country can provide the energy demand we have in a clean sustainable way. The area of land required for installing solar panels is very minimal, with less then 1% land use, we can power the entire nation. Even better the panels can be mounted on the roof with easy installation techniques that have been invented after the surge of solar systems.
Solar is the easiest to acquire and the cleanest form of energy that starts producing energy the day it gets installed. The solar industry is consistently adding new jobs, 1 out of 78 new jobs created today are from the solar industry.
It costs anywhere between 9 to 15 cents/Kwatt of power for the consumer to consume power from the utility company depending on where you live. The average cost to produce energy from solar costs around 8 cents/Kwatt. On average it used to be 10 years to get your money back from solar installation and that time period is now 7 years. This number will become more and more favorable as the cost of solar panels, microinverter, and installation hardware comes down. These factors have always existed the reasons to not go solar were pretty loaded then the reasons to go solar. I think the tides have turned in favor of going solar as the cost / KW of energy made is less then what you would pay the utility company.