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Our Energy Future: Wind, Solar, Nuclear, and Coal with Sequestration

Leetaru, Hannes E.1
1 ISGS, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL.

President Obama has stated that climate change and energy are two of the more significant issues facing the United States. With present technology, only wind, solar, nuclear, and coal with sequestration are viable as potential new sources for electricity. None of these clean technologies are a perfect solution. Wind generation of electricity is constrained by reliability issues and lack of a widespread electrical grid. Solar energy is limited by similar issues as wind, and in addition, is costly compared to other electricity generation methods. The greatest limitation to nuclear energy is public perception and the lack of a nuclear waste depository. Coal has the highest carbon content of any fossil fuel; however, coal with sequestration has the potential of being a clean energy source. Coal fired power plants that can capture and sequester CO2 need to be in the United States energy mix. None of the clean fuel options are perfect and all have limitations.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009