Why are we worried about energy scarcity?

The question on Quora, this time is: What the world might be like in the future if fossil fuels run out and there is not enough renewable energy to replace them?

We are NOT going to run out of energy. The only limit to renewable energy potential is our ability to integrate it into uses that can capture the intermittent energy, and homogenize it for schedulable use.

It doesn’t matter where the electricity comes from. What matters is how we use it.

For example: How much are these people worried about energy?

Related image

Why has this well dried up?   Electricity!

Here’s how electricity has left these people to starve: In the area where this well is, there was once plenty of water. They only had to dig down 8 feet to find abundant water. The poorest of the poor could still get water with hard work, but they could get water.  Those days are gone. I mean gone.

About a mile from here there are some farmers who use cheap electricity to pump water to irrigate, and grow lots of food for market. When their shallow wells started to go dry all they had to do was dig deeper wells.

They all had enough money to pool that they could bring in machinery that could drill down a hundred feet. They lowered their pumps and were back in business. With cheap electricity, it was no problem to pump every drop they could use.

However, the underground lake, that used to be full almost to the surface of the land, is being drained. Water that once could be reached in 20 feet, is now 90 feet deep. All it meant to the farmers with electric pumps was that they kept having to put longer pipes in the well.

What it means to the farmers in the picture is that they could no longer get even enough water to drink from their well, let alone feed themselves, which turns into a topic about poverty, and sustainability.


© 2018 William Ross Williams

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