The author reiterates that PV is cost-effective at any scale. A home or business may simply add solar panels as energy needs increase. And, according to the author, improvements in technology have reduced the cost of PV from $25/watt to now less than $3.50/kW. Additionally, excess energy created by the system in homes during the day — a time of more sunlight and lowered usage for most homes — excess energy can be "sold back" to the grid.
Bradford uses the adoption of cell phones as an example of how he sees the United States adopting solar energy. Cell phones are an example of distributed economics: each phone user generates his own communication system. Distributed solar systems would be the same: each building or home would generate the majority of its own power. This is in contrast to, in the case of cell phones, the Ma Bell monopolies or, as in the case of modern utilities, the large quasi-governmental organizations that generate and distribute energy to the people.
Currently, Germany and Japan lead the world in adoption of smaller scale solar technologies. They have surpassed the US in solar adoption, generally due to the impetus of government policy. Consider that each of these countries has little sunshine and even fewer natural resources for energy. They each have relatively high energy costs, as well. In the United States, California is in the forefront of encouraging adoption of PV panels and other small scale solutions to energy shortages.
A weakness of the book is the author's cursory discussion of political realities that can block the adoption of small-scale solar energy projects such as he favors. If we have a government willing to approve expenditures of, according to one source, over $400 billion to protect its access to oil reserves, how likely is it that energy companies will simply roll over and allow solar to take over? I suspect it will be like the early days of satellite TV, when cable companies used federal legislation to block satellite companies from showing local channels, and then advertises their superiority to satellite because cable had local channels. One can hope, as with telecom, that the field will eventually be deregulated. That policy will favor the populace, not the energy companies.
Overall, this book is an excellent introduction to an established and reliable source of energy. Though Bradford discusses technical and economic issues, he clearly elucidates electrical utility economics and his vision of emerging distributed economics. The author also discusses industrial uses of solar technologies.