Shift oil use to electricity
Posted by butalidnl on 16 July 2008
We are now facing two aspects of the energy crisis: first is the obvious one of crude oil, while the other one is in electricity production. Since crude oil is in short supply, it is but logical to shift our gasoline and diesel use to electricity as much as possible. Since the overall electricity grid incorporates wind, hydro and even solar (although the majority is still generated through coal), electricity is easier to make “greener” than diesel.
There are a number of ways to shift from oil products to electricity.
Plug-in Electric Cars
The announcement by a number of car companies that they will come out with Plug-in Electric Cars is a welcome development. Not only will the cost per kilometer be less than for gasoline-driven cars, it will do wonders for air quality (at least, locally).
Electrifying the entire train system
One immediate advantage will be the savings in diesel from long-distance trucks that haul goods all over the US. Part of the electricity needed for running the system could be generated locally, using wind or solar energy. Another advantage of an electrified train system is that, when it is combined with high-speed train routes, would be a viable alternative to the airplane.
The US government should encourage these measures, even to the point of investing in some projects. These measures would generate a lot of employment (think of all the civil works to install electricity power lines for the trains, or for the construction of new locomotives, etc.). It would ease the demand for gasoline and diesel, and create conditions that would better fit with the introduction of more electricity from alternative sources.