I read the article from which this broad pronouncement came and it makes me cringe. I love the way green-energy articles are written. The writer makes it sound as though this solar energy could be produced in sufficient quantities to replace other forms of energy. However, a careful reading of the first paragraph illustrates the problem. The solar plant could only produce these numbers on two days, and only during the "midday hours at a certain time of year." Which means that it could produce that energy for only a few hours per day. Assume that it was for four hours. Unfortunately, we have a 24-hour day, half of which is essentially without sunlight at the location listed.
The author also fails to take into account the transportation industry and also fails to identify the nuclear power plants to which he is comparing output. France gets nearly 80 percent of its energy from nuclear. They send their spent fuel to Russia for recycling. Stationary energy needs are a whole different species when one considers the needs for vehicles. It is becoming apparent that electrical vehicles have been a major bust. Consider the "Tesla" and the NYT's review of the vehicle.
Also if you will note, the time of year was May 26, 2012, not December 26, 2012. The angle of the sun also has an impact including the number of rain days and time of year. Germany has an average of roughly 20 inches of rain per month, and snow during winter. This severely curtails production of solar power over a sustained period. Yet the Germans pay a premium (on top of the regular cost) of 5-billion dollars for the privilege of a few hours of solar power during the day. Production per hour for this solar energy becomes fundamentally unrealistic to the average person.
In paragraph 9, the author admits that this was a particular "bright" period. That is a critical admission.
This production is totally controlled by the weather. Perhaps if we allow global warming to increase we would have more sunny days and thus more solar production. But since Solar, wind and bio-fuels are heavily subsidized by the government, that is to say by taxpayers, hold on to your wallets.
The question then becomes: Can we afford it or can ours or any economy afford it. The world is poised to hit some incredible hard economic headwinds when the money printing binge bubble bursts and it will burst. Would you want to be locked into paying at least four to six times the price of electrical energy produced by natural gas let's say, when it does?
Then there are the environmental and visual impacts. Earth beneath these mammoth-acreage solar plants is essentially sterile, but apparently no one considers that anti-green side effect . Research also says it would take a solar or wind plant about the size of Connecticut just to power just New York city 24/7. Solar, wind and bio-fuels have proven that they are years in the future if feasible at all. Other sources are much more practical and feasible and wouldn't bankrupt the average family. These so-called alternative energy sources are a sad pipe-dream.
Just my humble opinion, of course.