I think that SMURF has outlined it pretty well, with the different technologies.
I have difficulty in keep up with what I need to, let alone investigating other fields, so I'M NO EXPERT...
The issue that I see in 2013, when our stupid Governments are divesting themselves of all manner of Infrastructure, is that whoever takes up the challenge will have INVESTORS and demand PROFIT..
When we had the Electricity Commission responsible for ALL power, they could spend whatever is necessary to solve the demand needs.
Clearly Large BASE-LOAD could be running 24/7.. They could employ storage technology, like Super-Heating Molten salt, for rapid steam generation for other times.
Then they could have micro GAS turbines scattered around, keeping demand in balance..
So, you can imagine that a single entity can rationalise the total cost over the needed demand..
Would YOU invest in a plant that only produced power in Off-Peak or Shoulder times..
I would want the absolute maximum profit 24/7.. This is the dilemma that I see and yes , I agree that everyone would like ALL plant to run 24/7..
My concern is that I just don't see BENEVOLENCE rising to the surface and a practical solution found.
I can see industry Fluffing around on the edges and accepting Govt. Grants to make things possible, but unless serious plant is built, we will not progress..
IMHO - the Governments should gear up to provide Base Load, and then allow Commercial Production of the rest, so as to maximise the incentive and the profit, and thus get it done..
Governments are there to serve the people... So be it..