1. How Much Energy is Returned for the Energy Invested (EROEI)?
2. Have the claims been verified by an independent third party?
3. Can I see the alternative energy being used?
4. Can you trace it back to the original energy source?
5. Does the invention defy the Laws of Thermodynamics?
6. Does the inventor make extravagant claims?
7. Does the inventor claim zero pollution?
8. Can I see blueprints, schematics or a chemical analysis of how it works?
9. Infrastructure Requirements -- Does the energy source require a corporation to produce it? How will it be transported and used? Will it require new engines, pipelines, and filling stations? What will these cost? Who will pay for them and with what? How long will it take to build them?
Amen to the kudos to MonteQuest.
I think that the nine points are not all equal, but in fact naturally divide into greater and lesser categories. I see 1, 2, and 9 as the "Big Three," whereas points 3-8 more properly fall under the third party verification.
I also believe that accurate EROEI numbers are much tougher to obtain than most posters seem to think, which is partially illustrated by point 9. The intial investment in an extensive infrastructure skews the EROEI to a low value, which gradually increases over time. Several EROEI numbers based on different levels of scale and different points in time might be needed.