Re. abundant solar
You may want to revisit your calculations regarding the area requirements to meet global energy demand via solar panels. My back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates you would need to panel an area the size of Iowa just to meet New York City's anual energy demand circa 1991. That's assuming:
1. 20% efficiency from all panels
2. a yearly average of 5.5 hours of direct sunlight per day (which is the average for Los Angeles)
3. 0% energy loss from the power distribution method selected.