The future’s electric

Gary Neal
The Polis
Published in
5 min readJan 30, 2024

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But we need more than a spark

Electricity pylons in open country
Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

Waking up on a cold winter’s morning to find your car battery is flat, is dispiriting, to say the least. What would be more devastating is to wake up to find your country’s battery is flat.

A fossil fuelled world is becoming less attractive and sustainable with the passage of time, particularly with the dire warnings of the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) ringing in our ears. The move to electric is progressing, but currently too slow to achieve the target set for net-zero

Infrastructure

According to the World Bank, Britain’s national grid is one of the most stable in the world and one of the cleanest, as far as CO2 emissions are concerned. The problem arises when a rapid upgrade is required to meet net-zero targets. Energy sources from wind and solar need to be plugged into the grid, as do batteries for storing excess power. It’s no good generating millions of volts if we can’t send them anywhere. It takes 12 to 14 years for new transmission lines to go from the drawing board to being switched on.

Pylons will need to be built to link power lines. Maybe even undersea cables from offshore wind farms. And those pylons or underground cables will have to go somewhere, whether the voters like it or not. According to the International Energy Agency…

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Gary Neal
The Polis

Retired taxi driver, creative writer, experimental poet, computer enthusiast, web design and learning to program