Have there been any studies done to see if we could actually be energy self reliant?



  1. 0 Votes

    If by self reliant, you mean sustainable, then yes. There have been proof-of-concept studies that show that the potential to gather energy from wind and solar panels could be enough to meet all of the world’s energy needs. The problem is that installing the technology to reap the benefits of renewable energies is still very expensive compared to conventional electricity sources like coal. Nevertheless, the potential is there, we just have to seize the opportunity.

  2. 0 Votes

    If the question really means “energy,” as in total energy and not just electricity, then at current consumption rates, it is impossible for the US to be self-reliant in producing liquid fuels. All the alternatives combined, plus the most optimistic scenarios for US oil production, can’t do it.

    If cars, trucks, and planes could all go to electric power (not remotely feasible in a short time frame), then there is a whole long list of non-sustainable things that arise. To generate all the additional necessary electricity, the only easy way to scale up is by mining more coal, and the US does have the greatest coal reserves of any nation – but probably can’t mine the amount it would take and we would have to import coal (if it was available, given China’s huge consumption).

    Nuclear? The US imports 85% of the uranium we use now, so it would take more imports to generate more electricity via nuclear power.

    All those electric vehicles will also require significant quantities of neodymium (in magnets in the motors), lanthanum and lithium (in the batteries). Those commodities are produced mostly in China (97% of all neodymium and lanthanum) and Chile (with Argentina and others, supplier of more than half the lithium used in the US).

    So even if the US could generate enough electricity — a long shot — there are additional import dependencies to consider.

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