There is a myth about electricity usually promulgated by those who believe in man-made global warming who, seemingly, want to see us electrify as much as possible in order not to use fossil fuels so much. What prompts me today is that Andrew Sentance, the chief economic advisor at PwC, a member of the Bank of England advisory committee — thus a very influential individual — believes the same myth and has written such in a paper today.
In order to keep the amount of CO2 down he imagines that more electricity can substitute for burning less fossil fuels in power stations. But where does he think the electricity comes from then?
There are strong commercial interests in favour of changing over to electric cars, railways — even airplanes in the not too distant future — particularly when battery technology is much improved. But while so-called renewable technologies will only contribute 5% to 10% of electricity for a great many years, if not decades, to come — and relatively expensively, too — fossil fuels will carry the main burden of electricity generation.
Electricity has many advantages in many spheres, but moving towards it too quickly will only increase CO2 releases into the atmosphere.