So I'm doing a school project on presidential candidates and their views on environmental issues.
"Actually the dirty little secret about solar power is that it takes MORE energy to manufacture a solar panel than the panel will produce. THATS why subsidies are "needed." With average efficiencies in the 14% range, the panels simply cannot reach the energy break even point that will make them suitable for replacement of fossil fuels.
BTW - I live on a boat and actually USE solar panels to keep my batteries charged. (I just couldn't find an extension cord long enough to let me plug into the grid.)
Solar energy IS NOT competitive with fossil fuels - yet. When they reach the 25 to 30% efficiency range, that might change, but we're not there yet."