Costs And Benefits Of Using Solar Energy

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One of the most important issues of the 21st Century is climate change. A crucial factor contributing to climate change is the emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. With an ever-depleting fossil fuel supply, we must be able to fulfill the demand of energy with alternative energy sources. Solar energy is not only an alternate energy source but also a renewable one. Every source of energy comes with costs and benefits. By examining how solar energy works, how it can be used effectively on a global level, and weighing the costs and benefits, this alternative energy source has potential to become a large energy provider. First of all, examining how solar energy works is essential in beginning to understand how it could …show more content…
First off, one benefit from using solar power is that the use of it does not change the basic energy balance of the biosphere because the solar energy converts to heat energy which is absorbed by the atmosphere. The Sun delivers 10,000 times the energy used by humans (Wright and Boorse 395). Solar facilities can become operational within months of the decision to build them unlike new nuclear and coal power plants (Wright and Boorse 400). Also, these facilities do not have to predict what the energy demand will be far into the future because it can add energy capacity as needed; allowing investors an opportunity to invest smaller and less risky amounts of money. This makes investments in solar power much more appealing due to low risk and quick rewards. Another advantage solar facilities have over oil and gas pipelines or nuclear facilities is that they are much less vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Solar energy, like all renewable energy resources, does not produce hazardous wastes and are geographically dispersed. Solar energy also has a great outlook in the future as costs of Photorvoltaic systems, also called solar cells, are declining in price by about five percent a year while the efficiency of these cells improve (Wright and Boorse 401). As a final note, the solar energy resource is much more abundant than the limited fossil and nuclear fuel resources. By using just a …show more content…
While solar power may have several disadvantages, many of them concern the need for better technology and cost-effectiveness. These issues will be resolved as time goes on and as technology improves. Though solar energy may not be available to everyone around the globe at all times of the day, it has potential to become a very cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels and other harmful energy sources. With lowering costs and improving technology, solar energy has may become our next main energy

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