Changes in technology are supposedly set to make solar power cheaper than that generated by oil or natural gas...at present, it's over twice as expensive. Government subsidies like the ones given by NYSERDA in New York State allow installation of solar power currently. With the changes noted in this article in the Telegraph, we could see a proliferation of solar panels.
My prediction: that most new energy saving technologies will be created first in Europe, they're way ahead of us in the deployment of alternate energy. Most new buildings have wind, solar or other alternative energy sources mandated by the building codes.
"Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half.
Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels The secret? Mr Sethi [ceo of the Swiss start-up Flisom; the Flisom website crashes your browser, beware.] lovingly cradles a piece of dark polymer foil, as thin a sheet of paper. It is 200 times lighter than the normal glass-based solar materials, which require expensive substrates and roof support. Indeed, it is so light it can be stuck to the sides of buildings. Rather than being manufactured laboriously piece by piece, it can be mass-produced in cheap rolls like packaging - in any colour"