If you are one of those insufferable greenies who's always spouting about how we need to switch to solar power, wind power, wave power, cow-fart power, or whatever energy fad you talk about with your hippie friends down at Starbucks, there's a reason those things haven't caught on. It's because they are incredibly inefficient energy sources and must be generously subsidized by the taxpayer. Fossil fuels, and to a certain extent nuclear, remain the only economically efficient energy sources.
Insisting on solar or wind-generated electricity is like driving 20 miles out of the way to save a nickel on a gallon of gas.....it'll feel like you're saving money but it's completely unsustainable. Yet that's exactly what the Goreacle and maybe McCain want us to do in the name of the mostly imaginative global warming.
It's the same problem with the recycling fad. Only aluminum cans can be recycled in a way that makes money for the recycler and creates new, affordable aluminum products. Aluminum recycling is efficient and needs no subsidies, nor do you have to make people do it, because it's profitable for everybody. When technology advances to where solar, wind, wave, and fart power are efficient and profitable in the energy market-place, then the government won't have to subsidize it and it'll become part of how we generate electricity.
There's a short and very interesting article on energy subsidies in the WSJ that explains why these other energy sources are subsidized by taxpayers as much as 20 times more than gas and nuclear. Before you invest $20K in home solar panels which might save you $50 a month in energy costs, read this article.
"But Ed", you smugly point out, "it's not about saving money as much as it's about saving the planet."
Please, don't make me vomit. What you Gaia-worshipping forest fairies don't consider is the energy spent in the manufacturing of these ridiculously expensive solar panels, storage batteries, and wiring. In terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, you're harming the Earth less by using the hydro-electricity already provided.....and for cheap.