There are a lack of realistic and a lot of conceptual solutions to energy issues with little honest distinction made between them. Many proposed solutions are vested interests lining their pockets at the expense of the gullible. Spending taxpayers' or investors' monies on something unrealistic creates the false appearance of leadership and progress and is dishonest.
I am all about simplicity and pragmatism. Following is a simple test which every energy solution should pass:
1. No new technological discoveries are required.
2. Government subsidies are not required.
3. Solution is scalable without distorting other markets.
4. The solution is politically acceptable.
This is not to say that we should not invest in new technology, provide occasional subsidies or encourage small scale alternatives. However, the more tests a solution does not pass the more it should be treated as a conceptual solution and discounted far more severely compared with realistic solutions. Apologies if it seems like I am stating the obvious, but I get the feeling that many energy "solutions", no matter how theoretical, are treated as if they have an equal chance of success.