@solar and terror
"Solar isn't like nuclear. It's distributed."
Finally we get an intelligent contribution to the debate! :-)
All the thinking about this so far goes: make large collection systems, then figure out how to a) store and b) distribute the results without losing the lot.
Apart from cloud/rain of course, solar energy falls upon the entire planet (the poor, ailing, groaning planet) evenly across the average 24 hour period, or in Douglas Adams' terms, per diurnal anomaly.
Wouldn't it be better to distribute the collectors around the world and put them close to the users of the power? How about building them into our roads, and all our building surfaces - both domestic and commercial? Then we only have to worry about local imbalances (like a power-intensive industry or business cf many house roofs in residential areas), instead of world-wide imbalances and large scale transmission/storage losses.
If we go this way, instead of investing in large-scale transmission, we can concentrate on a) reducing the cost of localised collection and b) equipping all buildings with two-way electricity feeds - both outgoing and incoming - with a reversible meter (pay only for what you drag off the system, get equal credit for what you put back in).