REPLACING FOSSIL FUELS 21jun2010 INTRODUCTION Although this paper has been written primarily to deal with energy concerns in the United States of America, much of the information will be useful for other countries also. Regardless of whether we are concerned about global warming, we know that burning fossil fuels damages the environment and causes health problems. Therefore, we should be working diligently to develop alternative energy sources to end our dependence on fossil fuels. The proposed alternatives to fossil fuels include wind energy, solar energy, and nuclear energy. Hydroelectric power is also useful, but I am excluding that because we have already developed practically all of our available hydroelectric sites here in the United States. When considering alterative sources of energy, we should also consider what would be practical in countries outside of the United States since sources of power which would be practical in the United States may not be practical elsewhere. To be able to understand adequately the challenges of developing alternative sources of energy, we must have an adequate understanding of how our current sources of energy operate. Accordingly, I shall begin by explaining some of the operational details of coal, gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power plants. After that, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of wind and solar power. That will facilitate a better understanding of the challenges of integrating wind and solar power with the existing sources of power. Then, I will explain why nuclear power is probably the only source of energy that can economically and reliably provide the large amounts of power required by an industrialized world. Last, I shall address the problems of eliminating the use of petroleum to power our transportation system.