News & events

  • Home
  • News & events
2009 July 28

National laboratory sketches America’s 10 biggest energy challenges

David Landes
The latest edition of the magazine put out by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee outlines what the editors see as the ten biggest energy challenges facing the United States.

Nine of the challenges center on the difficulties associated with meeting the “twin goals” of producing sustainable energy in sufficient volumes while at the same time lowering carbon emissions.

“Indeed, one of the most pressing decisions facing policymakers is determining which combinations of new technologies offer the best chance of delivering on these goals,” writes ORNL communications director Billy Stair in the issue’s forward.

“The investment of resources required to develop these technologies would appear enormous unless viewed in the context of the stakes, both environmentally and economically, for America’s future.”

In the view of the ORNL, there is “no single technology and no single energy source” which can sustainably provide the amount of energy required.

“Success will depend, not just upon the delivery of a host of challenging new technological discoveries, but also upon the willingness of the American public to make fundamental changes in their daily activities,” according to ORNL’s Stair, who called meeting the collective challenges and endeavor “like no other in American history”.

The ten biggest challenges include: Carbon Reduction; Conservation; Bioenergy; Electric Vehicles, Nuclear; Battery Storage; Interactive Grid; Sequestration; Fusion; and Non-Proliferation.

Read the full issue of the ORNL Review here (in PDF format):