Recently in California, several solar projects were approved for installation in the desert. I really worry that we are just trading one ecological problem for another. A desert is a particularly fragile ecosystem and damage can take centuries to repair.
I highly recommend reading “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air” by David JC MacKay. It is available electronically for free (one copy for personal use) at http://www.withouthotair.com/ .
On the website are also several short summaries if you don’t have time to read the entire book right now. I found this book to be particularly interesting because it takes a systemic view of the energy consumption problem. It also explains energy use in simple terms that the general public can understand, while also using science and mathematics (rather than emotion and opinion).
As technology advances, I hope we’ll find ways to create greener energy with a much lower ecological footprint. But in the end, I think the answer is we have to learn to use less energy – much less.