Never Doubt the Importance of Reliable Electricity

Never Doubt the Importance of Reliable Electricity

August 18, 2021

One of the key challenges for environmental activists is that they rarely acknowledge the importance of electricity and electrification. Part of the reason is they know the electricity ‘solutions’ they tout, such as solar and wind, are simply not as reliable as fossil fuels. This is problematic because reliable electricity is essential to a functioning society. This was brought home in a recent Forbes piece about the problems facing residents in Lebanon:

The looming humanitarian crisis in Lebanon’s hospitals demonstrates, once again, the essentiality of electricity to modern society. Modern health care requires dependable juice, and lots of it. All of our key networks — GPS, telecom, traffic lights, water systems — depend on low-cost, abundant, and reliable electricity. Electric grids provide near-perfect reflections of the societies they power. Countries with robust electric grids usually have strong civil institutions and robust economies. But as can be seen in Lebanon, Iraq, Nigeria, and other places where corruption runs unchecked, electric grids simply don’t work. 

Indeed, when electricity grids don’t function reliably, a lot of society’s most important structures fail to work.

This is why it’s dangerous that the Biden administration continues pushing policies that would make our grid less reliable, such as increasing dependence on renewables that are sited far away from end-users and depend on unreliable weather patterns. California has been the case study in this. The state’s policymakers increasingly tie the hands of the state’s energy producers, and force them to utilize ‘green’ sources of energy. But when Californians need electricity the most – like during a 100-degree heat wave – they are told to turn their thermostats down and use less air conditioning.

In developed and developing countries alike, the importance of electricity is only going to grow in the decades ahead. Therefore, the importance of fossil fuels like reliable and affordable natural gas is only going to grow along with it.