Putting Alternative Sources of Energy Into Perspective

by R. A. Budenholzer, Dir.; American Power Conference, Illinois Inst. of Technology, Chicago, Ill.,
Zalman Lavan, Illinois Inst. of Technology, Chicago, Ill.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 71-73

Document Type: Feature article


Until the year 2000, the main energy sources will remain fossil, nuclear, and hydroelectric; synthetic fuels, solar, geothermal, and wind energy are the only alternatives likely to be used as a supplement. Well into the next century, the U.S. will have to rely mainly on fossil and nuclear sources. The fossil-fuel component will undoubtedly come mostly from coal, with some being supplied by shale oil. Beyond the year 2000, the bulk of our electric power will be supplied by nuclear power and coal, with the breeder reactor carrying an increasing share of the load. If fusion power can be accomplished and made economically competitive, it will gradually assume its share of the load and may eventually become the major source. Should neither the breeder reactor nor fusion power prove feasible, solar and wind power could become the major energy sources, probably at very high cost.

Subject Headings: Solar power | Wind power | Hydro power | Thermal power | Electric power | Load factors | Nuclear reactors | Shale

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