Growing algae as a source of fuel could consume vast amounts of water and fertilizer, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences. There's also a risk that the energy required to produce these fuels would make them impractical. These daunting technical problems need to be overcome if the nation wants to turn to algae fuels as a substitute for gasoline.
An oil boom, spurred in large part by hydraulic fracturing, could boost U.S. production next year to more than 11 million barrels a day, which would nearly equal Saudi Arabia's current output, according to Energy Department projections. The spurt is expected to boost U.S. energy jobs.
Hydraulic fracturing hasn't gone further than the discussion phase in Maryland, and Democratic lawmakers and environmentalists are adamant it stay that way until further studies into the practice are performed.
The government recently announced a new plan to facilitate the development of solar energy projects on public land in six Western states. Lawrence Susskind, a professor of urban and environmental planning at MIT, explains what it means for the future of renewable energy.
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