That is changing. Over the last 30 years, researchers have watched as the price of capturing solar energy has dropped exponentially. There’s now frequent talk of a “Moore’s law” in solar energy. In computing, Moore’s law dictates that the number of components that can be placed on a chip doubles every 18 months. More practically speaking, the amount of computing power you can buy for a dollar has roughly doubled every 18 months, for decades. That’s the reason that the phone in your pocket has thousands of times as much memory and ten times as much processing power as a famed Cray 1 supercomputer, while weighing ounces compared to the Cray’s 10,000-pound bulk, fitting in your pocket rather than a large room, and costing tens or hundreds of dollars rather than tens of millions.
If similar dynamics worked in solar power technology, then we would eventually have the solar equivalent of an iPhone — incredibly cheap, mass distributed energy technology that was many times more effective than the giant and centralized technologies it was born from.
And when solar is cheaper, expect the right to demand we increase oil and coal subsidies to save jobs.