The AI Revolution Will Not be Televised

Recently, publications such as The Washington Post, Fox Business and the Telegraph have covered the effects of the clean tech and Artificial Intelligence boom on our nation’s power grid. The Washington Post’s piece laments AI’s effects on the clean energy transition and the inability of states to meet their climate goals. However, what the article’s author failed to acknowledge directly is the clear role of fossil fuels in powering the AI revolution. While the themes of our strained power grid are being covered across the U.S., the real story is the lack of recognition that fossil fuels receive for their utility in keeping the grid operational. We should be sounding the alarm about an energy-hostile administration hell-bent on advancing clean energy and AI without supporting domestic oil and gas production.

Renewables are simply not up to the task – yet. As energy demand skyrockets, it will be tried and true American oil and gas that steps up to fuel AI’s energy-hungry data centers. Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly the future of technology. It will revolutionize all aspects of our lives, streamlining research, advertising, manufacturing, transportation, and much more. However, as the benefits of AI blend into our day-to-day tasks, the hidden consequences may not be felt until it is too late. As artificial intelligence usurps legacy industries, it will rely on cheap and efficient energy from a power grid under siege by increasing demand and an energy-hostile administration. The AI revolution will not be televised – because there won’t be any electricity left to show you.

An all-of-the-above approach to our energy production, consumption, and security—one that relies on all forms of our accessible energy resources—will be the winning strategy. A hurried transition to renewables in spite of traditional sources will coincide with a grid under immense demand and waning supply. There’s no other option if we want to stay competitive globally and keep the lights on at home.

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