Post-apocalyptic electricity

It’s a pet peeve of mine when reading post-apocalyptic fiction that somehow the grid still works. Either it’s only a small area or it’s unreliable, but it works.

I worked for my city’s power company for a while, and it was mandatory for all employees to go on a power plant tour. That meant that we all understood what was involved in creating that power and maintaining the grid. Just getting the coal refined and maintaining that plant takes hundreds of employees, not counting the actual power plant itself. There are many, many things that can go wrong from a blown relay station to a power line down to cause interruptions in service or even knock the whole grid out. It takes many employees watching a digital display to determine what caused the interruption and where it was located and to send repair crews to the right location. It takes many just to keep the lines up. It’s a wonder it’s as reliable as it is with how many things that could go wrong.

In a smaller metropolitan area, this would be just as difficult, as the power plants wouldn’t necessarily be nearby. There would be more work in getting the electricity to the populated areas. It just isn’t realistic to expect a reduced population post-apocalypse to be able to figure out how to operate the equipment, refine the fuel used, and operate the power plant, way stations, maintain the lines, etc. And that’s not taking into consideration that fossil fuels will degrade over time. Gasoline has a shelf-life of only a couple of years before it becomes too unreliable and doesn’t burn cleanly. The people would need to be able to refine more. That requires hundreds of people, at least.

So there won’t be roving vehicles to rely on. There won’t be electricity. There won’t be fuel to burn for heat. It would be a nightmare. So please, keep that in mind. Our modern world and conveniences are fragile. We need renewable energy before we run out of fossil fuels. We need something that won’t poison our planet further. Take care of each other and our world.

That’s it for now. Take care, peeps!

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