Solar panels require large quantities of glass. This excellent essay reviews the energy required to produce glass and shows that solar panels cannot be used to make more solar panels.
You need fossil energy to make solar energy.
This means solar energy is not renewable.
We are so accustomed to having access to affordable fossil energy that we forget how precious and magical our main source of energy is: oil is used to produce more oil, and unlike electricity, oil can be cheaply stored and transported.
All of the above also applies to the materials and equipment needed to produce, install, and maintain wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear energy.
In the USA glass manufacturing accounted for 1% of total industrial energy use in EIA’s most recent survey of the manufacturing sector. Overall fuel use is dominated by natural gas (73%) and electricity (24%), with the remaining share (3%) from several other fuels. Natural gas use at glass manufacturing facilities in 2010 was 146 trillion Btu, about 143 billion cubic feet.
If we convert the natural gas to kWh, we get:
143 billion cubic feet Natural Gas = 41,909,163,034.63 kWh