This paper has been updated to include research on the impact oil shale and tar sands may have on the World oil supply and it begins to explore the environmental implications as well. It was last updated on 2/18/12
As oil and gas resources diminish we will need to make adjustments and seek other energy sources to help make up the difference between what we need and what oil and gas can supply. We examine our options, as a first step toward making decisions today and in the future that will affect ourselves, our Community and our Nation. This document may be shared to inform public education and advocacy about energy decisions..
Here is a brief Abstract of the paper; download the complete paper from RESOURCES below.
Since oil will be depleted over the next few decades, it is essential to develop new vehicle fuels and electricity resources. Research and development into new technologies will determine how we replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources, focusing on the development of electricity storage, smart grids, long distance power transmission, cheaper solar PV, synfuels, and possibly thorium, and hot rock geothermal. The use of solar and wind is limited without solving the problem of intermittent availability. Nuclear power is a continuous energy source and a known technology, and it has lower start-up and operating costs than solar PV or wind. Offshore wind, solar thermal, hydro, tidal, wave, fusion, and hydrogen fuel energy will not meet US energy needs.
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George Possin, PhD, is a retired physicist from General Electric and a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Carol Possin, PhD, is a researcher and writer on policy issues.