Elon Musk recently expressed concern about the future of the US electricity supply and called for immediate action. “Not enough is being done to meet the growing need in the United States. You really have to set deadlines for projects in advance and have a high degree of urgency,” the Tesla boss warned. “My biggest concern is that the speed is not enough.”
Due to the already high and increasing electricity consumption, Musk fears that an electricity crisis will soon arise. “We have to move very fast in a rapidly changing scenario where the demand for electricity is increasing,” he demands. In the last 20 years, electricity consumption has increased by one per cent annually and there have been severe heatwave-like conditions. Power cuts are already happening during peak demand. Musk calculates that consumption will triple by 2045, largely due to e-cars and AI.
Musk predicts, “I cannot stress this enough: We need more power – no matter how much power you think we need, it will be more than that.” Bosses of energy companies are also expecting a sharp increase in consumption. “I would be the last person to doubt the forecasts,” assures Patty Pope, CEO of PG&E, the largest US energy supplier, and expects at least a doubling by 2050. Scientists are also critical of the situation: “It The opportunity of the century is for the energy industry and for you, if it doesn’t get right it could go bad,” says Michael Weber, professor of energy resources.