Peter Lang has a paper titled “Solar Power Realities” that gets down to the nitty-gritty about solar power.
He’s a retired geologist and engineer with 40 years experience on a wide range of energy products throughout the world, including managing energy R & D and providing policy advice for government and opposition. His experience includes coal, oil, gas, hydro, geothermal, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste disposal, and a wide range of energy and end use management projects.
Here is the abstract.
This paper provides a simple analysis of the capital cost of solar power and energy storage sufficient to meet the demand of Australia’s National Electricity Market. It also considers some of the environmental effects.
It puts the figures in perspective by looking at the limit position, the paper highlights the very high costs imposed by mandating and subsidising solar power. The minimum power output, not the peak or average, is the main factor governing solar power’s economic viability. The capital cost would be 20 times more than nuclear power. The least-cost solar option would require 400 times more land area and emit 20 times more CO2 than nuclear power.
Conclusions: solar power is uneconomic. Government mandates and subsidies hide the true cost of renewable energy but these additional costs must be carried by others.
He as also written an addendum, here is a link (PDF).
Here is a link to another paper of his on the cost of transmission (PDF).
Here is a link to Brave New Climate where the papers and articles about this reside.