QUESTION: Should electricity be given freely for everyone?

Unfortunately, NO.

The energy needs of the world are enormous. Our craving for electricity has led to uttermost disregard and degradation of the environment. Oil spills are widespread especially in conflict zones. Nuclear disasters has permanently destroyed cities with their radioactive waste. Massive ecological damage has affected sea life because of man’s quest to generate electricity. Talks about climate change are only hypocritical as countries have refused to be signatories to climate change deals.

Similarly, Our massive demand for energy has been as a result of better living conditions and technology. Scientific exploration, Factories and industries, medical innovation and advancement , communications technology etc all require energy.

Despite the massive environmental effect of our quest for energy, we have also achieved breakthrough In various arwas of life. In our excitement about new technologies, and our well-founded distrust of an industry that spends millions making sure it remains profitable, well-meaning people sometimes fall victim to fantastical tales of “free electricity”.

People like getting what they think is free stuff from the government -John Stossel

Electricity cannot be free because :

  • There is a significant high cost associated with producing electricity for use.
  • Even if the energy source is free, such as wind energy, large capital investments are usually required, which has to be paid for.
  • The people who work in electricity generation, distribution and transmission companies do not work for free. They have to be paid by the utility companies.
  • Reliable energy usually has fuel cost. Coal, shale, uranium and even feedstock are not free.
  • Plant,machinery and equipment have to be maintained to reduce downtime. There are different maintenance philosophies which are reliable but costly to implement.
  • Electricity is usually produced on demand. Though there has been extensive research in the field of energy storage, it has not yet been achieved. As long as electricity cannot be stored in a large capacity, it will attract some cost.
  • When electricity is generated, it has to be distributed. No manufacturer makes transformers ,power lines, towers , delivery lines and gives them to the utility company for free. Substations are capital intensive projects which cost money to build and maintain.
  • Peradventure electricity is given to consumers for free, how will the system be maintained ? Eventually the system will collapse because even oil rich countries have witnessed a dip in revenue. History has shown that such is not sustainable. Electricity in Libya was almost free as they paid almost nothing for it. That method has not worked well.

You can find the answer here

Follow me on Quora: Samuel Alfred


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