Are solar, wind and nuclear power an impractical pipe dream? If you answered "yes," it's time to review and update your thinking.Due to a global supply and demand imbalance, crude oil prices are skyrocketing and will continue to do so for years to come. . The price per barrel most likely will increase to $75 in a few months and easily top $100 this year, driving up consumer gas prices.No new oil refineries have been built in the USA since 1976, some 30 years ago. Existing American refineries operate at 99% capacity.
Globally, 50 to 70 more refineries need to be built in the next five years, as escalating demand from China and India increases global demand substantially.To make matters worse, many of the largest supplier nations of crude oil are very unstable, rabidly anti-American--or both. These nations control about two-thirds of know crude oil underground.Abrupt cutoffs are possible at a whim, driving down supply very dramatically and sending prices through the roof.Some of these countries appear to have overstated their remaining supplies underground.What, then, can be done? Are we doomed? No.
Not at all.History shows we had a similar problem in 1888. Whale oil ran out.
Panic set in. Fishermen no longer could find whales to kill by harpoon. Whale oil was used in lamps.America was close to utter darkness. But along came petroleum oils of the Industrial Revolution to save the day--just in time.But nothing lasts forever and in abundant, inexpensive supply, including petroleum oil.
America's way out of our energy situation now is the continued use of crude oil?plus increased nuclear plants, solar, and wind power technologies.All three are emission free, better for the environment, with no toxins to dump into the ground.In bygone days of yore, solar and wind were dismissed as silly, costly "alternative" approaches. As Ralph Nader said, "the use of solar power has not been opened up since the oil industry does not own the sun.
".Thanks to modern technology, nuclear, solar and wind energy costs are coming down speedily while the cost of petroleum escalates rapidly.Nuclear plants can produce power at 1.72 cents per kilowatt hour, far less than existing alternatives.
We need 103 new nuclear plants in the USA and 442 worldwide in 31 nations. Only 30 are under construction in the USA now.Technology has changed for the better, making nuclear plants far safer.Uranium prices have increased?great for investors.
But uranium, needed for reactors, is almost everywhere in the world, reducing our reliance on a few flaky nations.Solar panels, too, have improved and are being used much more. They can provide enough power from the sun to power a home or commercial building completely.
These are being used in new construction, and they are made with exterior panels with a marvelous appearance which blends nicely into exterior appearance of the building.Wind power is the third new big energy source. An article in the November 2005 "Lubes'n'Greases,"not exactly a looney tunes publication, says that "fossil fuels are part of the Industrial Revolution.".They predict that energy from wind power will reach 20% of all energy over time.Of megawatts produced from wind power, 36% comes from Germany, 18% from Spain, 14% from the USA, and 13% from the rest of the world.
Here again, improvements in technology and high petroleum prices make wind power practical and increasingly cost effective.Why pay for power when the sun and wind provide it at no cost?.When 2023 comes, will be be "petroleum free." That would be nice, but unlikely. We still will be using dead dinosaur juice to provide power then--but we will be far less dependent upon it.2023, I predict, will be a multiple sources of power environment--with solar, wind and nuclear as major sources, along with products derived from crude oil..John J. Alquist owns and operates Alquist Enterprises along with his wife, Shirley. This firm promotes self-employment, globalism, and a changed business life for 21st century success.
Visit John online at http://www.tell-it-well.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: John Alquist