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Are alternative energy sources the answer to ending human dependence on oil?

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nateiso | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM via web

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Are alternative energy sources the answer to ending human dependence on oil?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 8, 2013 at 2:58 PM (Answer #1)

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It is impossible to know what will happen in the future with technological advances, but at this point in time, alternative energy sources are not going to be able to end human dependence on oil.  There are two main reasons for this.

First, alternative energy sources are not sufficiently widely available.  There are some places where hydroelectric power or wind power are feasible, but there are many other places where they are not due to lack of rivers or consistent winds.  Fossil fuels, by contrast, can be made into electricity anywhere.

Second, the technology for making alternative energy competitive with fossil fuels are not yet sufficiently developed.  We lack the capacity, for example, to make really good batteries that could store wind-generated electricity for use when it is needed.  We lack the capacity to make solar panels that will be efficient enough and cheap enough to compete.  We do not yet know how to do things like making fuel from algae on a large scale.  These sorts of problems make it very difficult to say that alternative energy sources are the answer.  They may become the answer one day, but that day has not yet come.

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