More on Energy Resilience

Lynne Kiesling

At The Energy Collective, Geoff Styles discusses Andy Grove’s energy resilience ideas that I mentioned on Monday. His conclusion:

The approach suggested by Dr. Grove has many advantages, and the most important is avoiding the trap of becoming overly reliant on any one source of primary energy, imported or domestic, in the future. In this respect, his idea has an edge over the plan put forward by T. Boone Pickens, though the latter might be simpler to execute. Energy resilience also has thermodynamic efficiency on its side. Because fossil fuels can be used to generate electricity at least twice as efficiently as burning them in internal combustion engines, a US vehicle fleet made up mostly of electric cars would require much less primary energy than the current one, without reducing annual vehicle miles traveled. That would have very beneficial implications for the long-term price of energy, and it would greatly reduce our energy imports. That still might not get us to energy independence, but the combined price and volume effects would shrink our oil import bill to much more manageable proportions.

I think both Grove and Styles (and Pickens, obviously) are missing one of the most important reasons why resilience is important and successful: resilience is a consequence of decentralized coordination.