As things stand, the world is in an energy crisis. Roughly two-thirds of the world has access to well-established fuel sources, ranging from oil and natural gas to solar and hydro. Despite temporary issues like geopolitical disruptions that hurt supply chains and breed uncertainty, the general infrastructure and ability to supply most of the world is already in place.
At the same time, there are almost 3 billion people who live in energy poverty This means that they have no reliable access to electricity. Energy poverty comes with a slew of issues that impact life and quality of life for these populations. Most notably, they suffer from increased pollution. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 4 million people die every year from indoor pollution that is related to heating and cooking.
Kelcy Warren, acutely aware of this issue, wants to discuss why developing countries aren’t seeing much improvement and what can be done to change the situation.
Currently, 80 percent of global energy is supplied by oil and natural gas. On top of that, oil and natural gas infrastructure are well understood and well developed. They are more than capable of expanding into developing nations.
Despite that, energy development in roughly a third of the world remains slow, and well behind estimates from the 90s that suggested the entire world would have access to electricity by now.
What’s the holdup?
It mostly comes down to centralized banking. Major financial institutions are hesitant to fund operations that expand fossil fuel consumption. After all, fossil fuels often come with pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, both of which hold serious consequences for the rest of the world. In order to mitigate those specific problems, many financial institutions have scaled back investments specifically for coal, oil, and natural gas.
The unintended consequence of that stance is that people in energy poverty have remained in dire conditions when solutions do exist.
Energy Transfer and the Promising Future
What, then, is the solution? That’s where Kelcy Warren has a simple but powerful idea that could change everything.
In short, allow developing countries to build up their natural gas infrastructure. After all, there is more than enough natural gas to supply the energy needs of these people. On top of that, natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, generating very little pollution and roughly half as much carbon dioxide when compared to other burning fuels.
While some worry that this idea would accelerate climate change and pollution, that notion is actually incorrect. Investment in natural gas would lower overall pollution and carbon emissions in these countries as households can replace inefficient fuel fires with natural gas infrastructure. It’s actually a cleaner solution.
Energy Transfer is a global leader on this front and is pushing financial institutions to adopt the strategy. In fact, Energy Transfer handles more liquid natural gas than any other company or country in the world. They’re responsible for roughly 20 percent of all liquid natural gas in the world.
With Kelcy Warren working as the Executive Chairman, the company has shown that it can supply natural gas to billions of people in need, if only investors would participate.
While this is happening, developed nations can continue to invest in alternative fuels and diversify their own energy sources. This allows all countries in the world to move toward greener solutions, partly by utilizing the advantages of natural gas and existing infrastructure.