In the article we reference below it is hard to fathom the absolute temerity and lack of foresight that is allowed to pass, ungated, through the main stream media when it comes to energy poverty around the world and the best ways to address such matters.
There is a common argument from alarmists that goes something like this:
- because energy poverty exists today, even with fossil fuels having been around for hundreds of years, then such fuels and how they are used aren’t good solutions for future energy supply
- Instead, all efforts should be put into developing renewable/sustainable solutions, which are getting cheaper and cheaper anyway
- As such, there’s no problem restricting and banning the use of fossil fuels
This simplistic argument comes in many forms. The quote included below is a great example…
If the problems and naïve assumptions of this argument aren’t immediately evident, allow us to expose a few:
- There are literally millions of examples of fossil fuels alleviating energy poverty. Basically the 5 or so billion people that currently enjoy adequate energy supplies rely heavily on fossil fuels, across all aspects of their lives, and billions more have done so for hundreds of years – not too bad a record
- There is no reason that this fossil fuel-driven progress towards adequate energy supply for all humans, which is nigh impossible to dispute, wouldn’t continue, if fossil fuels were allowed to flourish, unrestricted, as in the past, and not subject to ridiculous, un-scientific restraints based on a ludicrous attempt to somehow control the future climate via one variable, CO2, on behalf of what will be almost certainly be much wealthier human populations decades and hundreds of years from now
- Yes renewables can and should contribute to the world’s energy supplies – but never at the expense of the proven uses and benefits of fossil fuels, which are the only viable solution in many situations, and key to most transport and heavy industrial energy requirements, amongst myriad other things
- All forms of energy supply create pollution, of varying degrees, involving a range of environments – renewables use massive amounts of natural resources, for example
- Suggesting that populations currently in energy poverty MERELY require a distributed, residential-level energy supply solution, with no regard for industrial, business, transport and myriad other non-residential energy requirements is quite simply even more clueless than Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake“
- By all means, roll out as many distributed energy supply solutions that you can, please, help everyone in need as soon as you can – just don’t stop others from doing the same using fossil fuels, while they also address the non-residential supply requirements that completely underpin all wealthy societies, and that renewables simply cannot deliver now and well into the future
- Restricting the supply of ANY TYPE OF ENERGY SUPPLY necessarily creates more energy poverty than would otherwise be the case – it’s called economic scarcity and it’s simple logic
It would be great if such straight-forward, easily verifiable points would factor into the reporting and analysis of most news sources, however, as shown in the TIME article we reference, this is simply not the case at even the highest levels of once-respected journalism.
Under such a barrage of one-sided coverage, the need for clear thinking and discussion is more pressing than ever.
The results of fossil-fuel-based, centralized, power-plant strategies of the past 50 years speak for themselves: high levels of pollution and slow rollouts due to high construction and fuel costs. Instead, we need to focus on minigrid-based electricity powered by solar power and batteries, which can provide 24-hour clean energy. And because they are decentralized—with the electricity that each community needs provided by solar farms in the area (optimized through artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies) and without long, expensive transmission lines—minigrids are often low-cost and deployable in weeks. Already, Energicity has brought solar-powered electricity to 40,000 people, and our goal for 2022 is to reach 250,000 more, across four countries in West Africa.
ARTICLE / SOURCE: