Solar power can never generate continuous, predictable, low cost electric power. Solar power must always be supported by expensive power storage systems(battery, water ect) or by reliable standby power sources such as coal, gas, hydro or nuclear. Else when you ‘flip the switch’ nothing comes out. It matters little how many millions of dollars of taxpayer money is poured into “research”, it can never solve the following two fatal flaws of solar power.
First, sunlight energy arrives in very dilute form, and thus needs large area collectors to harvest significant energy. This results in high capital costs and large environmental disturbance footprints. Solar power on average can light one 75-watt bulb for about every square meter of collectors (in the middle of the day only). How many square meters do we need to run our air conditioners, recharge our hybrids, fridges, homes, heaters, factories, hospitals and all other things of a big city?
Secondly, the solar energy produced during daylight hours is constantly variable and unpredictable, and zero power is generated at night. As a result, solar power farms seldom produce their rated capacity over a year and as low as low as zero power for a day or so. Clouds will not go away.
Bottom line, notice that solar power is only available during the daytime. Solar power is a meager player best left to emergency cell phone recharging. And no amount of government research money is going to change that.
There is always wind, if only the grid could support it, and the wind would blow day and night, close to where people wanted the electricity and if the darn windmills didn’t make so much noise — and … and … and … sigh.