this link is not to give news of any particular breakthrough but rather is just here for the layperson who wants to know something about where the world currently stands on solar and where it may be heading.
Note the assertion in that link which asserts something which I think too many people fail to fully appreciate or, worse, completely fail to appropriate at all, which is:
"It's not fair to compare solar and wind with technologies that pollute," said Fthenakis. "We don't account for the societal costs of pollution from coal. … If we did, we'd see that electricity from coal is a lot more expensive than what we actually pay for it. This would make wind and solar much more appealing."
It is pretty obvious to most people that have studied all this and generally kept up-to-date on solar research like I have that, in about 20 years time if not much earlier, solar panels would surely be much cheaper than they are now and would be perhaps something like only ~one-tenth of the current price per unit area (perovskite solar cells currently show the greatest promise to make this happen but that could change with advances in other solar technologies currently in the research stage ); and the price will just keep going down.
This, along with possible significant gains in energy efficiency, would surely make solar energy much more cost effective than it is now and more cost effective than fossil fuels even in many areas of the world least favorable for solar such as most places in the UK but, even in the north parts in the UK, currently solar panels typically pay for themselves within about 9 or 10 years despite this. I got that figure from; http://www.theguardian.com/uk/the-northerner/2012/sep/18/solar-panels-leeds-manchester-liverpool-sheffield-newcastle. And this is ignoring the pollution costs of fossil fuels!
So, even in the UK, solar power with current solar panel designs can, over a 10 year period or more, economically out-compete fossil fuels although currently it far from completely replaces fossil fuels.
Of course, various other (none solar ) renewables are already highly cost effective and already economically out-compete fossil fuels (even ignoring the pollution costs ) in many areas of the world. For example, many hydroelectric dams have already payed for themselves but are still producing electricity.