Would be expensive. And unnatural. Even in sunny places. Here is Ronald Bailey:
Now let’s do a rough calculation of the costs of DeSoto Solar versus conventional power sources. According to the Electric Power Research Insitute, a modern 1,000 megawatt coal plant without carbon capture technology would cost about $2.8 billion to build. Adding carbon capture would boost the cost to as much as $4.7 billion.
The 25 megawatt DeSoto facility cost $150 million. Scaling it up to 1,000 megawatts would cost $6 billion. But coal power plants operate 90 percent of the time snd solar only 30 percent, so in order to get the equivalent amount of electricity out of solar plant would mean tripling the capital cost for a total of about $18 billion. In other words, building a solar power plant costs between 4- and 6-times more than conventional, or even carbon capture, power. Even worse, a scaled up DeSoto-style plant costs 18-times more than a natural gas plant.
Of course, no one is proposing to turn the entire energy supply solar. But it should also be recognized that turning hundreds of acres into solar fields that require millions of gallons of water to keep panels clean, is not exactly what I have in mind when I think of open-space, untrammeled land, and all of those things I like about being in the wilderness. And to put up a coal plant you do not use much more than a few acres of space – and it doesn’t really matter where you put it. But who worries about spending 3 times more than you need to for equivalent (or better) technology? I’m sure that kind of stuff, just, well, pays for itself.