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[Right Column] Bloomberg News’ moment of clarity! ‘Global Energy Crisis Is the First of Many in the Clean-Power Era’ – ‘What does a Global Transition to Clean Energy Mean? Energy Crises, Gas Shortages’

Bloomberg News: "What does a Global Transition to Clean Energy Mean? Energy Crises, Gas Shortages"

Bloomberg News: The next several decades could see more periods of energy-driven inflation, fuel shortages and lost economic growth as electricity supplies are left vulnerable to shocks...The world is living through the first major energy crisis of the clean-power transition. It won’t be the last. ... At the same time, two other sources of power -- wind and water -- have had unusually low output, thanks to unexpectedly slower wind speeds and low rainfall in areas including Norway. In other words: A strained global gas market triggered Europe’s record-setting spike for electricity prices -- and the transition amplified it. ...

The richest economies are also undergoing one of the most ambitious overhauls of their power systems since the dawn of the electric age -- with no easy way to store the energy generated from renewable sources. ... Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., points to underinvestment in fossil fuels as a big part of the problem. “In many parts of the world, you’ve overbuilt wind, you’ve overbuilt solar,” Currie said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “The new economy is over-invested and the old economy is starved.” ... 

Wind and solar power production have soared in the last decade. But both renewable sources are notoriously fickle -- available at some times and not at others. And electricity, unlike gas or coal, is difficult to store in meaningful quantities. That’s a problem, because on the electrical grid, supply and demand must be constantly, perfectly balanced. Throw that balance out of whack, and blackouts result. So far, natural gas plants have served as the stable backup that wind and solar power need. That interdependence works fine, so long as gas prices aren’t going through the roof. 

Published:10/8/2021 9:19:51 AM
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