The challenges faced in implementing alternative energy on a large scale is the construction of an alternative energy infrastructure, as well as needed advances in alternative energy technologies.
Since the manufacturing rates of alternative energy installations and technologies doesn’t meet current energy demands by any means, money will have to be invested by the private sector for the research and manufacture of renewable technologies.
These actions seem to be a matter of course for such an energy transition, but the current energy providers seem to be dragging their heels on making the switch. The lack of overwhelming public support for alternative energy technologies is in the end what makes this transition so hard, where there is a will there is a way.
Part of the reason is the size of the energy market. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2009 U.S. utilities produced 3.7 trillion kilowatt/hours of electricity, which solar power only contributed 0.1% of that output. Also, the transportation sector used 3.3 billion barrels of oil; corn ethanol only accounted for 8% of the transportation sectors energy.
Another reason is the lack of pressure by policy makers to speed the development of alternative energy. If policy makers are truly serious about using more renewable energy sources, a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system must be implemented to force companies to start, A) conserving energy, and B) investing more heavily in renewable energy sources.
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