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Alternative Energy Overview

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Energy (Renewable energy sources)

Keywords: Alternative energy; Presidential transition; Energy reform

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The American people are very concerned with energy-- its availability, reliability, cost and environmental impact. The United States is the largest participant in the global energy system--the largest consumer, the second largest producer of coal and natural gas, and the largest importer and third largest producer of oil.

Alternative energy is a complex topic that requires discussion of the overall economy, the environment, and U.S. foreign relations. It is also a timely issue with world energy demand increasing about 60 percent in the last quarter-century and is expected to grow another 50 percent in the next 30 years alone. Energy derived from fossil fuels have played a significant role in supporting economic activity and development in the past, and will likely continue to do so in combination with alternative energy.

Fortunately, we are not running out of energy, but this issue will require us to examine how to increase energy efficiency and draw on sources that are sufficient, reliable, affordable and safe.