Tomorrow's Energy Today

by John Prendergast, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 3, Pg. 76-79

Document Type: Feature article


If concerns about global warming, acid rain and air pollution continue to mount, replacements for fossil fuels—for a century the dominant power source in the U.S.—will be necessary to meet the U.S.'s rapidly increasing energy needs in the 21st century. Added generating capacity in some form will definitely be needed. New plant construction by utilitis was at a virtual standstill throughout the 1980s, and as much as 1/3 of the country could be short of power by the mid-1990s. The article describes a variety of potential energy sources, their current level of development and prospects for future contributions to U.S. capacity. Among the energy sources discussed are nuclear power, hydro, geothermal, wind power, biomass, solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, hydrogen and ocean thermal energy conversion.

Subject Headings: Thermal power | Solar power | Wind power | Hydro power | Nuclear power | Energy conversion | Acid rain | Air pollution

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