When businesses provide consumers with a good or service they can unintentional enrich or hurt third parties. These unintentional economic boons and hardships are termed externalities. The energy market is no exception to this creating mostly negative externalities through pollution. More specifically this market creates a large portion of the world's CO2 output.
Most economists believe that the cost/benefit of these externalities should be placed upon those who take part in the transaction. The argument starts in how these externalities are placed upon the market. For example some suggest that through property rights pollution can be controlled while others suggest direct taxation and others regulation. Each way has distinct strengths and weaknesses. Whether or not it is right the energy market's externalities have been mostly controlled through taxation and regulation for the past few decades.
The problem with externalities and placing them on a market is that it is sometimes difficult to ascertain an exact monetary amount. This is the case with the energy market. Scientists disagree on the effects of greenhouse gasses alone without even discussing the cost. With that in mind let's consider solar power.
Solar power has long been lauded for its pollution free energy production; however, solar supplies less than half a percent of all US demand. This is due to solar's variability and cost. It is not economically viable when considering the buyer and seller alone. This could change if the externalities were completely placed on the energy market. In a recent scholarly article produced at Berkeley they discuss the current problems of solar as well as delve into the economics of solar energy. Here is the link: The Economics of Solar Electricity.
Whether or not these externalities are placed on the market may ultimately be a moot point. New technologies are being invented every year to tackle the price delta of solar vs. conventional. A recent power plant in Arizona uses the idea of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) and removes the substrate from the equation. This plant uses parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunshine on oil that then heats either water or salt. The water powers a steam turbine while the salt holds the potential heat energy in reserve. The potential energy is used whenever output does not meet or exceed demand. This type of power plant solved the costly dilemma of having to have a reserve gas or coal plant for use during the night or when a cloud blocks out the sun. Here is NPR's article on that plant: In Ariz., A Solar Plant That Powers 70,000 Homes Day Or Night.