By Derrick Hollie & Vijay Jayaraj
Many Americans have felt inflation’s sting as it climbs to 8.5% — the highest level in over 40 years. This has increased the cost in housing, heating, food and everyday expenses — causing many to live paycheck-to-paycheck while others look for creative ways to cut cost wherever they can.
Considering the current crisis, solutions to combat energy poverty should be at the forefront of every conversation and news report. Yet it is ignored.
Energy poverty can be found in all conditions where there is a lack of adequate, affordable, reliable, quality, safe and environmentally sound energy services to support development.
According to the most recent results from U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recently released Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), about one in five households reported reducing or forgoing basic needs like food and medicine to pay an energy bill, and nearly one-third of U.S. households — 31% — reported facing a challenge in paying energy bills or sustaining adequate heating and cooling in their home.
Despite these conditions, energy poverty is not formally recognized as a government concern. This limits an effective response from local and federal authorities.
The average American household experience with energy poverty is different from other countries. In these countries, one may own a heating unit, refrigerator or television. But they are unusable because their government’s cannot provide adequate access to energy or worse, no access to energy at all due to a lack of infrastructure. In making the case for its “sustainable development” goals, the United Nations reported that 789 million people — predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa — are living without access to electricity, and hundreds of millions more only have access that is very limited or unreliable. Under this current trajectory, the UN warns there will still be 650 million people with no electricity by 2030.
Energy poverty is detrimental. Close to three billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. That’s around 38% of the total world population not having gas or electricity for their cooking needs. The UN’s World Health Organization reports that around 2.6 billion people cook using polluting open fires or simple stoves fueled by kerosene and biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste). This causes four million premature deaths from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices. Additionally, noncommunicable diseases including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are more common. Close to half of pneumonia deaths among children under five years of age are caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.
Using Liquified Petroleum Gas (Methane, Propane and Butane) can help overcome energy poverty. In most of the developed world, cooking food is a non-issue. People have electricity or gas to power their stoves. In the developing parts of the world and poor countries, people have neither.
It is important to address the need for more oil and gas, and not less. Any attempt to complicate global oil and gas needs ensures more widespread sickness and even death among the world’s least privileged.
Continued development of hydrocarbons are requisites for the sustenance of the poor. Without them, there is no cooking fuel for billions of people. Even a slight interruption of energy results in blackouts for more than a billion people every day.
It makes no sense for governments to switch to intermittent renewables like wind and solar in the name of climate change, abandoning mainstay sources of petroleum and natural gas we still need. There is no backup solution other than fossil fuels and hydrocarbons to handle demand in real-time during peak hours.
A truly just energy evolution requires more power, from all sources — not less. Even advanced economies like the United Kingdom and Germany are unable to cope with the power demand when renewables fail. Why would developing countries fare any better?
The clarion call from the world’s poor is not a climate SOS. Rather, the world’s neediest desperately need economic growth that can be fostered only through extensive use of fossil fuels and hydrocarbons.
Derrick Hollie is President of Reaching America, an educational organization he developed to address complex social issues impacting vulnerable populations and a member of the Project 21 black leadership network.
Vijay Jayaraj is a research associate at the CO2 Coalition and holds a Master’s in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England.
This commentary was first published at Real Clear Energy May 27, 2022
Coal, Oil, Gas, Nuclear
All of the above. Hydro, if available and economical.
Solar, Wind, and other Greenie schemes
None of the above.
Renewables added to a functioning grid simply increase costs for no net gain, making the system less economic.
The Honda 50 would better than adding renewables- cheap, reliable, & versatile. Did I say
Thank you, Bruce Cobb, for saying it. The first thing I thought when I read the title was, “If that means including non-viable tech energy (solar, wind, mainly) as well as fossil fuels, hydro, and nuclear, then, NO! NOT ‘all of the above.'”
Greenies want peasants living in mud huts.
And they think we can maintain our current quality of life while doing so.
But people are living in mud huts and since WW2 nobody has supplied them with a power grid supplied by fossil fuels…
How much have you & your fellow Greens ACTUALLY SPENT to GIVE them any
power grid? All you’ve ever done is stand in the way to keep them from getting a
24/7 solar grid- you know, the reliable kind that actually works as advertised! 😮
When has INBDB* ever been a bona fide justification for not doing something?
*It’s Never Been Done Before
China is about to supply lots of mud hut regions with COAL fueled power plants, Griff.
More new COAL plants will be going online faster than older ones are being de-commissioned.
I’ll leave to contemplate the implications of this development for “Nuts Zero”.
“But people are living in mud huts and since WW2 nobody has supplied them with a power grid supplied by fossil fuels…”
Yes, the World Bank and the disgusting anti-CO2 agenda have a lot to answer for, don’t they.
All that money wasted on wind and solar that could have gone to helping out third world countries provide usable electricity from fossil fuels.
You’re out of date again Griff. They already filed the mud huts under assault by ISIS and fellow beheaders.
Griff missing the captain obvious points
1.) We also did not force them not to use them
2.) Not our problem they aren’t our country.
3.) Our ancestors lived in mud huts as well most likely using Griff logic we have to wait for some alien race to come and give us fossil fuels and technology.
And the vast majority of people who live in mud huts have no access to clean fuels for cooking which is a primary risk factor for deaths and morbidity from indoor air pollution.
You’re saying these people don’t deserve access to cheap, reliable energy and we should leave them to fill their lungs with real pollution until the end of their young lives.
Are you a supremacist or an eco-colonialist?
You describe a problem that should have been fixed long ago but for heartless zealots who believe depriving developing societies of the basic necessitates we all enjoy is a virtuous act.
Klaus Schwab let the “cat out of the bag” that they want EVERYONE to be a peasant! 😮
Did that man seriously say that?? That is communism.
The early American settlers tried communism and it DID NOT WORK. Everyone was, to paraphrase Churchill, equally miserable.
It’s the first of eight predictions for 2030 made by Klaus’s World Economic Forum
(WEF). Like all commies, they’re a murderous bunch of megalomaniacs!
OOPS, Fat Finger alert- I accidentally downvoted vs upvoted! 🙁
Some of those organizing and governing those communes became very wealthy
Master Fidel was a medical-worker slaver who made at least $4B/yr off the
sweat of their labor! They keep medical tourist patients on the top floors. The
locals have to bring the supplies they may need with them!
AndyHce: those communes were, or, rather that commune (Plymouth Colony from 1621-1623)* was, dissolved. It wasn’t governed by anyone, for it was tossed onto the dunghill of failed ideas and the Pilgrims embraced private property. Thus, no one could become very or even a little wealthy by governing it. 😏
May 28, 2022 6:10 am
Greenies want peasants living in mud huts.
May I help?
Greenies want peasants dying in mud huts.
Auto – disgusted at the attitude to their fellow humans shown by so many who ‘wanna save the planet’.
“It makes no sense for governments to switch to intermittent renewables…”
It does if the government consists of politicians who won their elections due to funding from the owners of the unprofitable intermittent renewables who need tax payer provided subsidies.
It does if those same politicians want to impoverish their citizens to make them reliant on government & therefore docile subjects.
These politicians are not people of good will.
Well, things seem to be humming right along according to plan right now, Thomas. We haven’t got to the mud huts part yet. Give it just a little more time, though.
Time for a Sri Lankan approach to greentards.
Politicians have succumbed to the money provided by the WEF acolytes or other elitist groups. The amazing thing is that these elitists are not hiding their agenda anymore.
They must believe the fix is in. As an example:
WEF also published a blog marketing the underlying concepts of The Great Reset in 2016 headlined “Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better.”
“Despite these conditions, energy poverty is not formally recognized as a government concern. “
Depending on what/who you read, a government’s first concern[s] is:
stopping climate chaos
protection of life
uphold the law
It’s interesting that fuel poverty is not a concern, but using fuel is; and using that fuel is frowned upon by the great and the good. Get a smart meter…
We use to say that we have only two requirements for government: to protect private property, and keep us from killing each other when we’re having fun. :<)
Any thing with “smart” in the title is terminally thick.
I will get a “smart” meter when they tear my old one out my hands.
BTW, if you have heard the incessant adverts. lately I am very pleased that I have apparently got an IQ higher than Einstein!
I’m going to have to argue with the “uphold the law” part. Modern politicians seem awfully interested in upholding laws only against people they disagree with. HRC is still wandering around…
Post says”…environmentally sound energy services to support development.”
Which is preferable having e energy that is all the things mentioned before this but not environmentally sound no no energy at all?
And what does that caveat mean? Is an old coal plant to be forsaken because it is not clean coal, but will produce electricity?
Cheap, affordable, abundant energy saves lives. No caveat.
“A truly just energy evolution requires more power, from all sources — not less.” Agree. Except only with this change: Stop allowing intermittent wind and solar developers to inject energy into the grid – any grid, new or existing – when windy or bright, with no responsibility to provide any power at all when calm or dark. Oh, and stop all subsidies and incentives based on a fictitious “social cost of carbon!” These current policies are parasitic to the reliable sources of power, diverting the revenue needed to provide a reasonable return on investment.
Somebody is making assumptions.
They assume that governments and the people who can influence energy supplies perceive energy poverty as a problem.
Hint: They do not.
Witness the US. On day 1, literally, a new incoming national administration did everything in it’s power to halt as much energy production as possible. Well known were “executive orders” to shut everything down insofar as possible. Less well known were the efforts to use the giant federal bureaucracy and the myriad “alphabet soup” agencies to hamstring the remaining energy production wherever and whenever possible.
One thing for sure it is government involvement that has put this and other countries in the engery crisis and driven up the price of everything including taxes without legislation.
Just a thought, check their bank accounts and those of their families.
It’s tiresome, this matter of “experts” declaring anything and everything a “crisis”. We aren’t having a “crisis”. We’re having “life”.
As for those of us in highly developed first world nations, if the price of gas or electricity goes, up, we easily adjust by either cutting back or earning more, or going deeper into debt. Fewer restaurant meals, fewer video games, fewer clothing purchases, fewer vacations, drop some of the cable TV or streaming subscriptions. Give the teenaged kid an older used car instead of a new car. Nobody is going to starve or lose their home here over paying $4.50 a gallon for gas instead of $2.50 a gallon – to which the price of gas will inevitably decline sooner or later, this year or next year or the year after when supply and demand are better balanced than they are now.
As for weeping tears over third-worlders who have to burn cowshit to cook their food, they aren’t suddenly doing that now because of the price of gas this month, whereas last month they had all the power they wanted. They and all their forebears have been doing that low quality of living/subsistence thing for approximately 2 million years now. Fortunately in the 21st century the vast majority of humans aren’t forced to live like that.
Comment says:”Nobody is going to starve or lose their home here over paying $4.50 a gallon for gas instead of $2.50 a gallon – …”
Semis use diesel and so do most farmers. We are having a hard time getting fertilizer for the crops, it is now very expensive to plant and harvest crops, it is very expensive to haul the crops/product to markets so I think people will go hungry. People will loose their homes. People have gone out of business and will continue to go out. This unnecessary rise of energy prices if not fixed immediately will have devastating effects.
Get with the current program gentlemen. Energy poverty is the goal of the left. It’s called de-growth, and it’s object is the destruction of the standard of living of the middle class. It’s the greatest demonstration that capitalism does not work, and if a few Africans get chewed up, well that cost is totally bearable to make the point.
We will own nothing and be unhappy, and cold.
On the contrary, it is the best demonstration that capitalism does work. That is why governments are working so hard to destroy it. Look at any country where energy poverty is common. Is the society based on the open and free exchange of goods and services? Is the government restrained in it’s relationship to the marketplace?
It’s the left / socialist way of addressing every situation –
drag the ‘accomplished’ groups down to the level of the ‘un-accomplished’, rather than boost the ‘un-accomplished’ up to the ‘accomplished’ standard.
“…government’s cannot provide adequate access to energy or worse, no access to energy at all…”
I see. Now it is the Government’s duty to provide energy?
It was once, in the US at least, that free enterprise had opportunities to meet needs and demands such as energy and make a profit doing it. The Government’s duty was to regulate these enterprises to ensure competition was fair to all involved.
Recently Government regulation has ensured that competition is not at all fair making it impossible for many such enterprizes to make a profit so they are quit leading to a lack of energy. And to add to the puzzle, Government is actually paying a few mostly foreign enterprises to build poor energy systems that cannot now and never will meet energy needs and demands and cannot make a profit by themselves because of their self-evident shortcomings.
All this because Government is not doing what Government is supposed to do.
Coming to America.
Vendors of stolen gasoline outnumber gas stations 4 to 1 on México-Querétaro
h/t to http://www.borderlandbeat.com/
Even advanced economies like the United Kingdom and Germany are unable to cope with the power demand when renewables fail.
absolutely untrue…where’s the evidence?
Can you remember December, 2021?
‘Renewable energy is a blackout risk, warns National Grid after chaos during biggest outage in a decade’
where’s the evidence?
In my electricity bill every month.
As John McEnroe would put it, “You have got to be kidding!”
Why don’t you go look up what natural gas and electricity prices were in the U.K. and Germany during October, November and December of 2021?
Then compare them to prices earlier that year. Also compare them to U.S. prices of natural gas and electricity.
While they still have access to GAS and COAL, they can thread the needle, but only just.
But not long until something goes majorly wrong, and then little people like you will have no electricity for several days while they try to rebuild the grid bit by bit.
I’m sure you will enjoy that.
Then why are we in such hurry up mode to save Europe from itself again.
Fair is Fair Griff you make stupid statements with no evidence … reap what you sow.
Poor choice of headline. They really mean all but renewables. I can support that.
Any bright high school student asking the right questions, using the Internet, an Excel spreadsheet and basic algebra, could figure out in short order that renewables and biofuels are a scam, a nihilist’s wet dream.
Pflash, when you said: “Any bright high school student asking the right questions, using the Internet, an Excel spreadsheet and basic algebra, could figure out in short order…” I think you assumed too much. They sure don’t teach that now in any high school that I know of today. It’s more like: “Don’t question your elders!”
Instead we’ve had all of the above solyndras, ivanpah, crescent dunes, failed geothermal, and DARPA’s climate change theatrical climate play. The notion that Americans will come to the right solution after exhausting all other options does not apply to DOE and Dems. They will still be working on concentrating solar and wind till the next land war in Europe.
Green policies raise energy prices. Fuel poverty is a killer. The simplest way to tackle the fuel price crisis, is to ditch the insane, unnecessary and ineffective green policies
If we were properly focused on energy security, greenhouse gas emissions would be a moot point. #AntiFragileEnergy #GreenNUCLEARDeal #HighlyFlexibleNaturalGas #IncineratePlasticPollution #WasteToEnergy #FissionFuture