Almost all traditional alternative energy sources and related technologies have low EROIs (direct solar 2-to-8, wind turbines 18, geothermal less than 5). Those alternative sources all have the same problems that wind and water power had before the Industrial Revolution and more, such as , not much energy is available to begin with, and they all create environmental impacts that, although not as great as fossil and nuclear fuels, are still considerable. Wind turbines not only kill vast numbers of birds each year, but they are noisy and create inland turbulence. In order to replace fossil fuels, there would need to be about four hundred times as many windmills on Earth as there already are, and I have driven through several windmill farms in the USA, which are spread across many miles of suitable terrain. In order to raise humanity to the American standard of living, there would need to be far more than a thousand times as many windmills. There may not be enough suitable land on Earth to host those windmills, and windmills are considered the most viable traditional alternative. Direct solar, including photovoltaics, makes the most sense in deserts. It does not deliver much energy, but it is considered the next most viable alternative, and there would have to be about four thousand times as many photovoltaic arrays as already exist to raise the world to the American standard of living. Again, finding the land to host them is a problem, and the materials need to be mined. There are maintenance issues and other problems. Rock is not a good conductor, so heat is rapidly depleted from the geothermal source and it quickly goes “dry,” and has to go “fallow” to recover.
As the world continues to search for alternative fuels to fuel our cars and heat our homes, many different opportunities are being explored and there has finally been a
With new OEM engines, the discovery of vast shale gas deposits and increased environmental pressures, the transportation industry is moving toward mainstream adoption of alternative fuels. For commercial fleets using everything from small vans to heavy-duty trucks, today’s alternatives – natural gas, propane and hybrid vehicles – are fueling success.
Find federal and state laws and incentives for alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.
Fuel shortages keep occurring in the world from time to time
Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease for use in diesel vehicles. Biodiesel's physical properties are similar to those of petroleum diesel, but it is a cleaner-burning alternative.