Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

If US oil consumption is increasing, and fuel efficiency is decreasing, how can we guarantee a stable energy?

How has our lack of planning impacted us now and future generations?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    To see what our oil dependence is really costing us, go to these websites to read about the

    exorbitant hidden costs and subsidies of fossil fuels. The subsidies are several times bigger than for all alternative energy combined.

    If Detroit would mass produce plug in hybrid vehicles we could vastly improve efficiency, saving money and using energy from the grid for charging. The grid can handle the extra load, because most of the charging would be done at night, during off peak hours.

    Plug in Partner has lots of info on the advantages of (PHEVs) plug in hybrids. They also have a petition you can sign to encourage the use of these.

    The grid is already much cleaner than burning gasoline or diesel. The grid will become cleaner as we adopt alternative energy on a wider scale.

    There is no shortage of solutions, there is only a shortage of political will.

    This link has some sensible talk about our energy future. "A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security"

    "Since fifty-percent of cars on the road in the United States are driven 20 miles

    a day or less, a plug-in with a 20-mile range battery would reduce fuel consumption by, on

    average, 85%. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can reach fuel economy levels of 100 miles

    per gallon of gasoline consumed."

    Most people would be able to commute back and forth to work, hardly using any gasoline. Yet they would have unlimited range wherever there is fuel.

    Hybrid buses are being built with microturbine and electric drive. The microturbine runs on natural gas, is highly efficient and needs almost no maintenance with one moving part riding on an air cushion bearing. Air cooled. No lubrication required. Capstone Turbine makes the microturbines.

    There is a mountain of dis-information about the potential of alternative energy. For instance, we are told by talking heads on FOX news that solar has no potential to contribute meaningfully to our energy needs, which couldn't be further from the truth.

    Actually, 1% of our southwest desert areas, filled with solar power plants would power the whole country with current technology at competitive prices with existing power sources. That is less land than currently used just for coal mines.

    Scientific American A Solar Grand Plan a good example of what we can do if we set our minds to it.

    Here's what one solar thermal power plant company has to say.

    "Solar thermal power plants such as Ausra's generate electricity by driving steam turbines with sunshine. Ausra's solar concentrators boil water with focused sunlight, and produce electricity at prices directly competitive with gas- and coal-fired electric power."

    "All of America's needs for electric power – the entire US grid, night and day – can be generated with Ausra's current technology using a square parcel of land 92 miles on a side. For comparison, this is less than 1% of America's deserts, less land than currently in use in the U.S. for coal mines."

    Electric cars are already appropriate for short range local delivery, city cars, job trucks on farms etc. Phoenix Motorcars small pickup gets 130 mile range and they will improve on that.

    As the grid becomes cleaner, electric cars will make more and more sense.

    Pacific Gas & Electric just signed another deal for solar thermal power plants, in the Mojave desert, with Brightsource for 900 megawatts, bringing the total deals in the last year to over 2 gigawatts. It's just the beginning. Read more at Green Wombat. Scroll down for several stories on solar power plants in California.

    "The solar thermal industry is in its infancy but utilities like PG&E (PCG), Southern California Edison (EIX) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SRE) have signed several contracts for solar power plants and negotiations for gigawatts more of solar electricity are ongoing."

    "The same acre can produce 10 times as much energy from wind as it can from corn ethanol, 180,000 miles per acre per year. But both corn ethanol and wind power pale in comparison with solar photovoltaic, which can produce more than 2 million miles worth of transport per acre per year."

    "I'd put my money on the sun & solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." Thomas Edison, 1931

    "In contrast, solar, wind, and conservation all have shorter lead times, a fiscal advantage not sufficiently appreciated, especially in uncertain economic environments like the present. So in addition to loving these options for being "green," planners can also love them for being "just in time."


    "In the US, the American Wind Energy Association forecasts that installed capacity could grow from 11,603 MW today to around 100,000 MW by 2020. In Canada, Emerging Energy Research predicts that installed wind capacity will expand from around 1,500 MW today to around 14,000 MW by 2015."

    {from an article at by Charles Morand}

  • 4 years ago

    Decreased oil consumption is directly related to the weak economy and high gasoline prices. Higher fuel efficiency does not necessarily translate to less consumption. People may drive more if they know their vehicles get higher gas mileage.

  • 1 decade ago

    first of all, the government (and the people) needs to realize that if we do not have a stable alternate fuel when oil is becoming extremely hard to find--this could be the end of our civil society. we need to give more money to researchers who have good ideas, that have the potential to replace oil. if we do this, then we will have choices which we can then weigh benefits and costs, and hopefully pick the best choice.

    also, less emphasis should be put on ethanol from corn. corn is a uneconomical source to make ethanol from, and very land intensive. Brazil runs most of its cars on ethanol--but from sugar cane. sugar cane is one of the best materials to make ethanol from, but it doesn't grow well in the States.

    Bottom line---- realize the need, subsidize renewable sources until prices come down, start to end our dependence on oil, and **focus on energy conservation**

  • 1 decade ago

    we cant unless we start using other available sources that haven't been utilized yet.

    we will probably have fuel rationing within a few years. especially if something happens to some of the current aging refinery's, the enviro nazis have blocked the building of any new refinery's for the past 25 years.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    well there are alternatives already...unfortunatly we have shut them down or limited them. Nuclear was very promosing but...coal is abundant but not clean burning. Solar and wind are too expensive right now. When prices rise high enough we will reduce consumption and see wind and solar as a reasonable soloution.

    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well, let´s simply say from following countries:


    Saudi Arabia



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