AS I SEE IT
By Neal A. Shipman
For the past several years, there has been a big national push to move the United States from relying on fossil fuels to a green energy platform that envisions power coming from renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar.
Granted, the world needs to consider using wind, solar and hydroelectric energy to start making up a bigger portion of its energy supply. The move away from fossil fuels makes some sense. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. But the elimination of coal and natural gas from the mix from the United State’s power supply is going to take a very long time to accomplish. And the process to make that conversion is going to be very, very expensive both for the companies that need to make that investment, as well as to individuals and businesses that have so far grown very used to inexpensive electricity.
One only has to look at the current mix of electricity in the United States to understand how big a challenge it is going to be to eliminate fossil fuels from the nation’s generation of electricity.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2019, about 4,127 billion kilowatthours of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States. About 63 percent of that electricity generation came from fossil fuels - either coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases, while 20 percent came from nuclear energy. That means that only 18 percent of this nation’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.
Yes, the green energy advocates and the Biden administration see wind and solar energy as this nation’s future. And Biden is aggressively pursuing that vision by proposing to spend $400 billion over 10 years in clean energy and innovation.
As we have witnessed this past week in Texas, which lost its electricity when its power grid went down, and across the country, which saw rolling power blackouts, providing reliable electricity that functions in all sorts of weather conditions is critical.
While the green energy advocates may not like fossil fuels, they provide the safest and most reliable power for the United States.