Solar still faces a number of hurdles before it can truly replace fossil fuels for power generation for most Americans.
An excerpt from Science Magazine:
While solar generation is emission-free, the manufacture of solar panels and related technologies can involve some environmentally unfriendly substances. Nitrogen trifluoride is a common byproduct of electronics manufacture, including those used in solar cells, and it is a greenhouse gas 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In addition, many solar cells include small amounts of the toxic metal cadmium, and the batteries required to store generated electricity can contain a host of other heavy metals and dangerous substances. As solar technology improves, manufacturers may be able to move away from these potentially dangerous substances, but for now, they mar the otherwise impressive ecological benefits solar power offers.