The energy crisis is in the news on a regular basis because it’s a situation that never goes away — we’re all aware of the environmental issues we’re facing. Two news items, in particular, speak to the importance of highly efficient propane in a sustainable energy plan that will bring us to a brighter, happier future.
California regulators held a vote and agreed to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035, with the intention to replace them with electric vehicles.
However, the day after this announcement, California found itself with a compromised electrical grid as the result of a heat wave. Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency, asking residents to reduce their electricity consumption. Residents were asked not to use electricity between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to save power and reduce the risk of outages.
This leads to the question:
If this happens in the future, will Californians’ transportation be compromised by being unable to charge their vehicles?
It seems likely.
In the United States, our electrical infrastructure is aging, with the average age of the installed base being 40 years old. A quarter of the electric grid is 50 years or older.
That longevity is amazing, and this isn’t to say that there’s any need to panic. But it’s worth acknowledging that putting additional responsibility on a system that experts say needs an update isn’t the optimal path toward environmental wellness.
And even the most famous electric car advocate, Elon Musk, agrees. The Tesla founder recently remarked that electrifying everything isn’t the way forward and, in fact, isn’t sustainable.
At a meeting of European energy leaders, Musk said, “I think we actually need more oil and gas, not less, but simultaneously moving as fast as we can to a sustainable energy economy.”
This is in line with the diverse energy plan that many industry experts have touted as the most realistic path toward an environmentally friendly future. Using a multitude of different clean energy sources to complement each other and fill in each others’ inevitable gaps is logical and sustainable. Aspiring to rely solely on electricity simply isn’t — and we would rather not find that out the hard way.
Propane efficiency and low emissions make it an ideal fuel to use in the quest to lower our collective carbon footprint while keeping energy costs low. And because conventional propane is a by-product of natural gas production, it’s in plentiful supply — and by its very nature, its production reduces waste.
Plus, renewable propane is on the horizon. Already in use in some areas, renewable propane is created entirely from renewable, raw materials like cooking oil, meat fat, and farm waste. A small portion of all propane is renewable at this point, but it’s growing with the worldwide focus on energy efficiency.
We have to look at the solution to the energy crisis as a puzzle with different shaped pieces — and propane is one of them.