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Clean Energy Not Likely To Replace Fossil Fuels Anytime Soon

Last year’s growth in coal, oil and natural gas outpaced the growth in renewable energy by a wide margin.

Three windmills in a field.

Photo: Blue Square Thing (Flickr)

Industry experts and university scientists do not see clean energy sources outpacing fossil fuels in the near future.

The Purdue Institute for Civil Communication recently hosted industry experts as well as university scientists doing research into energy efficiency and biofuels.

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow with Manhattan Institute’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment says not anytime soon. He points to last year’s growth in coal, oil and natural gas outpacing the growth in renewable energy by a wide margin.

“The U.S. has roughly 300 billion watts of coal fire capacity.  If we wanted to replace that capacity with wind energy, just the capacity with wind energy, we would need 300 billion square meters.  That’s a land area roughly the size of Italy, and no people could live on that land because of the noise the wind turbines generate,” Bryce says.

Speaking on the future of clean energy is analyst Nat Bullard with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  He says you only have to look at the path Asia is going down – choosing wind and solar for new power generation.

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