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When author, journalist, and film producer Robert Bryce speaks at the Energy 2.0 Forum in Denver, he plans to discuss why electricity is “the great equalizer,” and why natural gas and nuclear energy are essential in getting power to more people around the world.
“About 3 billion people today live in places where per capita electricity use is less than what’s used by an average American refrigerator,” says Robert, author of the new book A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations.
“It’s particularly important for women and girls,” he says. Without adequate electricity, they’re hauling water by hand, washing clothes by hand, gathering wood or dung for stoves, and more. But electricity “fuels modernity. When women and girls are freed from that menial labor, they have more time for going to school, reading, and doing other things that don’t include being effectively a household servant.”
Electricity is essential to building an economy.
“All around the world, countries with cheap, abundant electricity have vibrant economies,” he says. “Electricity and economic growth go hand in hand.”
On how to meet the growing demand for power while reducing carbon emissions to protect the environment, Robert argues that “the best no-regrets climate policy includes using more natural gas and nuclear energy. And those are good for the U.S. We have natural gas not just in abundance, but in superabundance.” And carbon emissions from natural gas are lower than they are from coal and oil, he notes.
“The U.S. can play a key role in efforts to decarbonize the global economy because of natural gas and the shale revolution,” Robert says. But nuclear energy is “not growing in the way that we need it to.”
Robert’s positions, including on controversial issues in the energy sector, have been honed across 30 years of writing about the energy business in numerous articles and five previous books. “I count myself lucky to be able to make a living writing about it and researching it,” he says. “It’s the world’s biggest and most important business. And every other part of the global economy depends on the energy sector.”
At an opening reception the evening before the conference, Robert will present a showing of his documentary Juice: How Electricity Explains the World. “We have more than 40 on-camera interviews from people all over the world talking about the importance of electricity,” he says. “I’m really excited about it.”
Hear from Robert Bryce at The Energy 2.0 Forum in Denver on March 10. For more information, visit energy2dot0.com