One finite nonrenewable resource, oil, has created serious problems for the world economy. Oil prices shot up from $2.23 a barrel in 1970 to $34.00 a barrel in 1982, creating a frantic search for alternative energy forms. Coal became popular again, and companies searched for practical means to harness solar, nuclear, wind, and other forms of energy. In the solar energy field alone, hundreds of firms introduced firstgeneration products to harness solar energy for heating homes and other uses. Other firms searched for ways to make a practical electric automobile, with a potential prize of billions for the winner.
The development of alternative sources of energy and more efficient ways to use energy and the weakening of the oil cartel led to a subsequent decline in oil prices. Lower prices had an adverse effect on the oil-exploration industry but considerably improved the income of oil-using industries and consumers. In the meantime, the search continues for alternative sources of energy.
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