Lawrence Berkeley Staff Scientist David Fridley
In his just-released report, “Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy,” Lawrence Berkeley staff scientist David Fridley assesses the obvious yet too often overlooked obstacles to the widespread deployment of alternative energies around the world.
These nine challenges are:
- Scalability and timing,
- Material requirements,
- Energy density,
- The law of receding horizons, and
- Energy returned on energy invested.
Energy developers and legislators must consider all nine challenges—the details of which are found in Fridley’s report—when making decisions about the energy future of society. Fridley’s contribution to rational energy planning is his concise packaging and simple explanation of each.
“The public discussion about alternative energy is often reduced to an assessment of its monetary costs vs. those of traditional fossil fuels, often in comparison to their carbon footprints,” Fridley writes. “This kind of reductionism to a simple monetary metric obscures the complex issues surrounding the potential viability, scalability, feasibility, and suitability of pursuing specific alternative technology paths.”
Fridley’s report was prepared as a contribution to the October 2010 Watershed Media/UC Press publication, The Post Carbon Reader.