>The problem is getting the cost of the solar cells to drop by
>a factor of 2 to 3 (which is likely to be by 2010-2015 given
>current trends). If we got serious about minimizing our
>environmental impact (global warming, salmon loss, etc.) and
>factored the hidden costs of fossil fuels/hydroelectric into
>electrical production. then it might happen much sooner.
You will, of course, also be factoring the hidden costs of photovoltaics into electrical production? I don't know enough about current technology, but traditionally solar cell production has used highly toxic chemicals and more power than the cells ever produced in their lifetime.