More than anything else, the solar industry remains laser-focused on reducing the price. Even though costs for solar systems have plunged in recent years, that's not enough to out-compete natural gas.
As we've reported on at length, efforts are underway on many fronts to get solar costs down, from reducing permitting costs to automating the sales process online.
Another method that has great potential is the use of robots, which at least two start-ups are focused on.
So far, the idea is to make constructing and operating large solar plants much cheaper and more efficient.
Alion Energy thinks it has a solution for the expensive, tedious process of building a large solar farm. Right now, those thousands of solar panels are screwed into the ground using human hands, one by one.
But Alion says "Rover" and "Spot" could do the job easier and cheaper.