Which will be the most viable alternative energy source of the future?
It is difficult to determine at the present moment what the future configuration of alternative energy sources will be. There are many options and each one of these, as everything in life, has its own costs and benefits. What is certainly known is that none of them, individually, have the same caloric energy content relative to the costs of drilling for petroleum,formed by 'boiling' organic material at coffee pot temperatures (but under a great deal of pressure) over thousands of years. (Drilling for petroleum is somewhat analogous to drinking water with a straw, if we compare it to the energy requirements of drilling for coal.) This means that the likely energetic future will consist in the combination of all alternatives, possibly each one oriented towards diverse specific niches as currently seen with the costly solar panels. It is here where biofuels enter. Although they are validly critiqued given the atrocious tendency to destroy natural habitat and flora for its growth, it does not imply that we should necessarily discard them. Countries such as Puerto Rico--and perhaps Cuba or Haiti--in which cane had been a part of its history, could allocate certain quantities of lands deemed appropriate for biofuels. There will probably be a great deal of valid opposition to its development. Nonetheless, its actual low viability will be transformed with the gradual but unceasing cost of petroleum this century. (As other nations develop industrially and economically, their rate of petroleum consumption will increase, and hence its price.) When the price of crude reaches levels that were previously though impossible, our perspective towards biofuels will definitively change. Therefore, we need to begin getting ready now, for this most uncertain certainty.