Undergraduate Research in Agricultural Economics


Date of this Version

June 2008


This paper was my attempt to give solar energy a voice in the midst of discussion about the growing problems with global warming, fossil fuels, and bio-fuels. In reading and studying these topics, it becomes clear that with or without considering the damage fossil fuels are doing to the planet, there are many economic and political reasons to seriously consider alternative sources of energy. However, switching to new sources should be done with careful consideration of their own pros and cons. In my reading about solar energy, the pros seemed undeniable and the cons seemed surmountable. Solar energy has not received the same level of hype or government support that fossil and bio-fuels have enjoyed. The public seems to know little about solar energy – how it works, its benefits, the misconceptions about its pitfalls, and its capabilities. Fortunately, other countries such as Japan and Germany have already taken the initiative to test out policies to support solar energy and have had great results. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not seem to be moving in the same direction. This paper was written with the intent to spread the idea of free, truly green energy, not just for the future, but for the present as well.