Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco
Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"
"The environment is inextricably bound up with the future energy debate. Broadly speaking, there are four major ways we can tackle such concerns: first, improved efficiency of energy use; second, research and development efforts leading to new fuel formulations; third, the greater use of alternative energy sources; and fourth, restrictions on the level of energy use in the future. In my view, the first two approaches – improved efficiency and a focus on new technology – offer the most pragmatic and least disruptive ways of lightening the environmental impact of energy use and consumption...
[A]lternative energy sources have some way to go before they can make substantial contributions to the world’s future energy mix, given the current state of their development and the various hurdles they still face. We must also remember that many of these alternatives, such as nuclear or renewables, or even conventional sources such as coal, may be able to meet additional demand in power generation and possibly industry but not in transportation, which of course is a key sector of oil utilization.
Alternatives and their contributions to meeting steadily rising energy demand are needed and welcome, and eventually these fuel sources will become a more important component of global energy supplies. But we must be realistic about the pace of their future development, and understand that for the foreseeable future, their significance in the energy supply mix will continue to be limited."
20th Congress of the World Energy Council remarks, "Global Oil Resources and the World’s Energy Future: A Holistic View," www.worldenergy.org, Nov. 2007