Underlying the policy debate on energy is a fault line – a chasm between two basically different approaches. Not the usual one between big centralized and small decentralized energy, although that is part of it. This goes deeper. It concerns the basic, often unspoken, assumption that electricity is the key energy vector. We have the idea that electrification is modernization. It’s not just Lenin who said that, it’s everyone ever since, everywhere. It made sense. Electricity was clean, fast, controllable, and it has become increasingly valuable. However, that means it’s become increasingly expensive, in part since the main ways of producing it involved the use of increasingly scarce fossil fuels. Interestingly that, and the ever-growing environmental impacts of burning those fuels, led to drives to use it more efficiently. More >>