there are no catch-all explanations (as to why alternative energy sources aren't used)... but there are lots of conveniently overlapping reasons. a significant portion of energy demand could easily be addressed through wind energy. wind energy is actually at par with natural gas in terms of harvesting expenses, even though there are no mass production facilities manufacturing wind turbines to drive the production cost down. despite the relatively marginal research efforts, wind energy technology has progressed to such efficiency that it requires nearly just about the same amount of land and financial input as natural gas to exploit its energy potential. the last time i checked the price of natural gas averaged somewhat around 5 cents per kilowatt hour. during the 2000 price spike, it jumped up to 10 or 11 cents per kilowatt hour. contrast this with the estimated figure of 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour for harvesting wind energy. these non-replenishable solutions aren't as far fetched as most people think. the state of Texas could readily satisfy its energy grid's demands by appropriating wind farms in west texas and along the coastal regions. all you really need is a minimum of 15 mile per hour winds at an altitude of 50 meters or so.
then you have this "myth" of U.S. dependence on middle east oil. the US currently gets about 14% of their oil from the middle east... whereas Europe gets about 70% and Japan gets about 90%. the oil rights themselves are owned largely by multi-national corporations. the Arab countries really exercise very little control over the resource production on their land.
regardless of such realities, it's certain there is an energy grab in progress. i believe the oil-dominated global energy infrastructure is intentionally and artificially maintained as the dominant source of energy in the post-industrial world to create a superficially sustained hierarchial global wealth structure. the finite nature of oil makes this possible because its limited supply assures that only those with the most capital have access to it, since the price of its acquisition and manufacturing increases with its scarcity. the more wealthier countries have the greatest access to this resource as a result, and the poorer nations have the least access to it. this is important because energy is the primary determinant of any and every form of economic development. oil then becomes a de facto mechanism of geopolitical control that subjugates poor nations into subservient dependence on more developed ones. many people make the mistake of under-estimating the significance of energy supply in stabilizing national economies. it would be a mistake to assume the third world is where its at simply because of a lack of money or human resources. the energy required to develop or maintain industries is simply not there.
as it stands now, most of the energy resources are extracted from poor, developing or "third world" countries... and manufactured in the west, then re-sold back to their countries of origin at significantly higher prices. industries in the city of Houston manufactures something to the tune of 20% of the world's petroleum resources. its not uncommon to find that the efforts of nations producing the raw materials to actually develop their own refineries often end-up being frustrated, stifled or disrupted by various external forces... but imagine the scenario that would result if renewable energy supplies become the global norm.
the existing energy hierarchy would be almost instantly destabilized. human capital would have no problem flocking to so-called developing countries once the opportunity to maintain stable industries presents itself.
but lets ignore alternative resources for a minute and examine oil. we've had the technological capacity to develop far more efficient mechanisms to utilize it. there was this scientists whose name i can't remember right now that invented a carburator engine for a vehicle capable of transporting 11 people back in the 1920s or early 1930s. this engine was able to provide something like 200+ miles per gallon... and other examples of how we could easily transform into a more efficient energy consuming society clearly demonstrate how the status quo we are dealing with today is being artificially imposed by the powers that be.
when you go deeper into the root causes of WHY this is the case, i believe it becomes a myriad of issues circulating around ideological motivations.
the present energy standard makes no fiscal sense, makes no environmental sense, and makes no social sense. its as if the global society is intentionally being driven to a destabilizing point of conflict. i'm not sure how much longer the politicians and business elite could keep using that "cost-effective" argument against renewable energy, but its pretty much baseless, IMO.
“Stand out firmly for Justice as witness before God, even against yourselves, against your kin and against your parents, against people who are rich or poor. Do not follow your inclinations or desires lest you deviate from Justice. Remember, God is the best of Protectors and well acquainted with all that you do.” -Qur’an 4:135
"Don't be deceived when they tell you things are better now. Even if there's no poverty to be seen because the poverty's been hidden. Even if you ever got more wages and could afford to buy more of these new and useless goods which industries foist on you and even if it seems to you that you never had so much, that is only the slogan of those who still have much more than you. Don't be taken in when they paternally pat you on the shoulder and say that there's no inequality worth speaking of and no more reason to fight because if you believe them they will be completely in charge in their marble homes and granite banks from which they rob the people of the world under the pretence of bringing them culture. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them they'll send you out to protect their gold in wars whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can with a flick of the finger tear a million of you to pieces." --Jean Paul Marat, 18th Century French Visionary (and revolutionary), murdered in his bathtub by Royalist Charlotte Corday