The resulting yo-yo effect on fuel prices for the last three years has made it hard for consumers and businesses to loosen their purse strings enough to jump start the lackluster economy.
Even when renewable energy is relatively cheap to produce, current costs to store huge amounts of solar and wind power can be two or three times the value for utilities supplying electricity.
With gasoline prices still stubbornly high, a new fuel from an old source could keep America moving more cheaply in the near future. It's coal-based ethanol and Celanese is making a big bet on it.
Automakers are gearing up for mass-market production of hydrogen-powered cars starting in 2015, but the fuel-cell technology has plenty of skeptics, including President Barack Obama.
With all its attributes, solar energy still hasn't taken off with consumers. What's not to like. Apparently, a lot. For one, switching over is a" a hassle," says a solar firm CEO.
Choosing energy-efficient appliances, such as Energy Star, making a few small repairs and adjusting some behavior can help consumers save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.
Growing support for energy independence and a cleaner environment is driving a mix of market forces and legislative mandates toward renewable energy, which is translating into real jobs.