By Paul Quigg, columnist
There seems to be a lot of confusion concerning electricity in my “Fabrication” column. There is a very simple way to clear up the confusion. Sign in to the US Energy Information Administration, and in the search box request “primary energy consumption by energy source.” You will note that electricity is not listed as an energy source. What further proof do you need to be convinced electricity is not a source of energy?
It is perfectly natural to think electricity is an energy source when we refer to so many “electrical” products in our lives. Since the introduction of electricity, we have seen great progress and many conveniences. I can’t imagine what life would be like without it.
Some of the “replies” have been over the top and I would hope they would continue to participate, but a little more civilly. The climate is extremely complicated and there is much we can all learn as we share our opinions.
You will also note on the graph that renewable energy provides 12 percent of our energy and that solar provides 12 percent of the renewables. Multiplying 12 percent by 12 percent we get a solar total of 1.44 percent of our energy. When we talk about solar, we are usually talking about power which is the electrical sector that provides around 25 percent of our energy.
The other sectors are transportation, manufacturing, and residential. All of the goals for renewables in 2030, 2050, etc. are confined to the power sector with no regard to the other three sectors. Consequently, our future goals only involve 25 percent of the problem.
Wind is not a whole lot better, currently providing 3.24 percent of our energy.
Mr. Quigg, a University of Virginia graduate and resident of Luray, has practiced architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1962. As a lifelong environmentalist, in the 70’s he was appalled at the polluted air and water and has dedicated much of his time since in studying and commenting on the environment. He has been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.