13 of 25
13. Energy: Alternative sources of energy
Energy: Alternative sources of energy
Myth: We can meet our energy needs and global-warming targets with wind and solar power.

Reality: Perhaps, but not for a very long time.

While the solar and wind industries have been growing rapidly over the past decade, those two sources of power together account for less than 2% of all the electricity Americans use.

Why the lag? Solar typically is still two to three times more expensive than coal, and while wind in many places can compete with fossil fuel, it isn't a dependable source of power -- when the wind stops blowing, the electricity disappears.

Battery-storage technology may someday alleviate the problem, but even then it will take decades for alternatives to replace the massive capacity of today's $7 trillion worldwide energy market. -- B.D.

NEXT: Energy: Daytime thermostat settings?
Last updated March 26 2010: 6:04 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
5 biggest share buybacks of 2014 Stock repurchases are booming. These five companies are ready to spend over $79 billion on buybacks. More
10 horrifying corporate mascots McDonald's Happy is part of a long lineage of creatures great and small that shill for products and mortify consumers. Mr. Mucus, anyone? More
5 best cities to launch a career The top spots in the U.S. for new grads to land a job -- and actually enjoy life -- according to financial site WalletHub. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.