The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Solar Energy Essay

3669 Words 15 Pages
In recent decades, much debate has ensued about the vast amount of natural resources and ecological services society depletes. Moreover, the debate has evaluated how society depletes these natural resources at a faster rate than the environment can replenish. It also assesses how society can mitigate these environmental issues in order to preserve our natural resources for the prosperity of future generations. Research suggests that the natural resources we currently use, such as coal and petroleum, could be fully depleted within the next 25 and 100 years respectively (Byrd, 2012). Given that society has a tendency to over-consume natural resources, many economists have suggested that the use of alternative energy could alleviate the …show more content…
However, the research has also suggested that solar technology has demonstrated an increase of approximately 39% in production and investment in the last decade and is growing faster than any other renewable technology (Zweibel, 2010; Lloyd & Forest, 2010). Still, the research concluded that the limited availability of natural resources, which would be used to manufacture SETs, could restrict the development of solar technology as well as other renewable resource technologies. However, given that solar technology has seen an increase in research and development, solar energy could establish an opportunity for expanding our electricity supply system without overconsuming on nonrenewable resources.
With evaluating the increase in research and development for SETs, some economists believe that solar energy is the most effective alternative energy resource available which can help provide many more social, environmental, and economic advantages in comparison to the conventional energy sources of coal and wood (Tsoutsos, Frantzeskaki, & Gekas, 2005). For instance, the social benefits of solar energy can almost be considered as invaluable towards society’s goal to preserve natural resources for the prosperity of future generations. The main social benefits of SE include the reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and