Who cares when the tech was first developed? The entire point is that they were ignored until the last couple of decades. Ditto for solar and wind, two technologies that have been around for centuries, but are just now coming into their own. I suspect we are going to see an explosion in green tech innovation in the next few years. A superb example is that of LEDs, which are replacing lighting worldwide due to their low energy use. A decade ago they were almost nonexistent; now they are everywhere. We are in an age that rivals the Industrial Revolution in its rapid technological innovation. Change is accelerating and I expect it will continue to do so.
Solar panels cost more energy to construct, install and maintain than they ever return.
Pacific Gas and Electricity installed enough (from Federal tax subsidies) solar and wind power that if all were developing maximum power that they could deliver 19% of the maximum demand for electricity. Last year was their best year ever because of the drought and almost perfect winds. They actually delivered 3%. In a normal year they can deliver 2%. This is not worth the cost of maintenance alone on these systems.
Several of the cities in the San Francisco bay area are proving how green they are by demanding that all new construction have solar panels on their roofs. This is a boon for the Chinese who manufacture the panels and the roofing companies who are making an average of $40,000 per new home. The home owners have discovered that in 2 years they haven't saved one red cent. But the advertisers will come on TV and openly lie with claims that since they installed solar panels they haven't paid any electric bills.
Got that? The experts in the power company can't make any money with solar but some person that lives in Mill Valley which is shaded for most of the year or overcast doesn't pay for electricity.