An interesting news release out this morning
is about a paper written by a professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and director of the UC Energy Institute. He says even after considering that solar panels reduce greenhouse gases, their costs outwigh their benefits by a wide margin. One of his conclusions:
His analysis deconstructs the argument that solar panels produce power at the location of the end-user and therefore can reduce the costs of transmission and distribution infrastructure investments. Examining 26,522 solar PV systems in California, Borenstein found they are not concentrated in locations where they would reduce transmission congestion and reduce the need for investment in transmission infrastructure.
Interestingly, he figures solar would make more sense if the cost of electricity were allowed to rise as demand increases. That would let the electricity panels generate be worth more because it would come at times of the day when demand from industrial sources were highest.