at what level of the oil price do alternative sources of energy (ie solar, wind etc) become viable?

what is the cost of energy production per therm for the different methods of production? ie oil, biofuels, solar, wind etc. i understand that oil is the cheapest way of energy production at the moment, but at what level of the oil price would other methods become economically viable?

4 Responses to “at what level of the oil price do alternative sources of energy (ie solar, wind etc) become viable?”

  1. thor Says:

    Since there aren’t many electric vehicles on the road and most electricity is produced by burning coal (cheaper than oil) instead of oil it’s a hard comparison. Since wind has minimal maintenance and no fuel costs after installation it is already a cost effective way of producing power in some areas of high wind reliability. Solar has almost no maintenance but a high initial cost so it will need more mass production before it achieves equality. Bio fuels costs range greatly and also depend on what costs you include. Are you including military intervention in the middle east? Do you include the degradation of vital farmland to produce fuels instead of food? Are you talking ethanol from corn, sugar cane or sorghum, diesel from soybeans, diesel from waste fryer oil, methanol from wood,…?

  2. Reagan Says:

    When gas was around $5.00 US per gallon, alternative energy became feasible. Once it dipped below that, most projects were abandoned because gas was cheaper again. So I would check the oil prices around that time ($160 a barrel I think) and you’ll have your answer.

  3. Onthelevel Says:

    The last time I heard, neither solar or wind power was of much use for powering automobiles. Electric cars have been available for 20 years. If they are so "viable", why aren’t more people using them? There IS no viable atlernative to the internal combustion yet. Get used to it.

  4. Bob Says:

    If you triple the cost of oil that alternatives become viable. But just remember when gas went over $4 a gallon. It triggered the economic melt down. So what really has to happen is that alternatives sources of energy need to be cheaper to be viable. That why the carbon tax plan is going to kill the economy.