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Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser
agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, Kickstarter, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment
Toward a Third Industrial Revolution The harnessing of hydrogen will alter our way of life as fundamentally as did the introduction of coal and steam power in the nineteenth century and the shift to oil and the internal combustion engine in the twentieth century. Championing a fifty-year plan to build a hydrogen economy is a grand economic vision on the scale of the first and second industrial revolutions in North America. By taking a commanding lead in building a hydrogen infrastructure for Canada and by developing renewable resources and hydrogen technologies and related products and services, the Canadian economy can help to set the twenty-first-century economic agenda for the rest of the world. Investing in a hydrogen economy will reinvigorate capital markets, spur productivity, create new export markets, and increase the GDP of Canada. According to a recent study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the hydrogen economy could generate US$1.7 trillion in new business by the year 2020. It should be emphasized that no other single economic development will have as great an effect on the global economy over the course of the next several decades.
In other words, the White House would like to head into a hydrogen future without ever leaving an old-fashioned fossil fuel and nuclear energy regime. Its failure to imagine a new energy era and to take the steps to get there could put the United States significantly behind Europe as a world power by mid-century. Laying the Groundwork for the Hydrogen Economy in Canada In order to jump-start the hydrogen economy in Canada, the federal government should consider adopting a number of high-visibility initiatives. First, create a high-level working group to draft a blueprint for Canada to become an integrated hydrogen economy by the year 2050. Second, assemble a consortium of universities, technical institutes, and government laboratories to help facilitate research and development of hydrogen technology and related products and services. Third, create a working group of software, chemical, automotive, energy, and power companies to co-ordinate joint efforts to produce and market hydrogen technologies.
And because the installation of renewable technologies and the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure as well as the reconfiguration and decentralization of the nation’s power grid are geographically tied, the employment generated will all be within Canada. If both the technologies and technical know-how that comprise the hydrogen economy are also produced by research institutes and Canadian-based companies, additional domestic employment will be generated. Making the transition to the hydrogen era provides a unifying vision for the environmental movement and offers the first real hope of creating a truly sustainable global economy for future generations. By eliminating carbon dioxide altogether from the economic equation, the hydrogen economy leaps ahead of the current paltry and piecemeal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The shift to hydrogen is a bold plan to confront, head-on, global warming, the single most dangerous problem facing humanity and the Earth in the coming century.
The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery
Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon footprint, clean water, cross-subsidies, decarbonisation, Doomsday Clock, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, uranium enrichment, Y2K
In this scenario, a transition to hydrogen is thus imperative; but how likely is it? In the 1970s the Australian electrochemist John Bockris coined the phrase ‘hydrogen economy’ and ever since, for many people, hydrogen appears to be the silver-bullet solution to the world’s global warming ills. ‘Boiled down to its minimalist description,’ Bockris wrote, ‘the “Hydrogen Economy” means that hydrogen would be used to transport energy from renewables (at nuclear or solar sources) over large distances; and to store it (for supply to cities) in large amounts.’5 As with so many silver-bullet solutions, however, there’s a lot of devil in the detail. The power source of the hydrogen economy is the hydrogen fuel cell, which is basically a box with no moving parts that takes in hydrogen and oxygen, and puts out water and electricity.
So delicate is our atmosphere, and so vast is the human burden now being placed upon it, that the work of our commission could not possibly cease with the greenhouse gases: even the hydrogen economy may come under its purview. Molecular hydrogen is a trace atmospheric gas which is present at just a half a part per million in the atmosphere, with a life span of just two years. The future hydrogen economy requires the annual transport of several times the total amount of hydrogen present in the atmosphere today and, as we have seen, hydrogen is liable to leak.2 By replacing half of current fossil fuel use with hydrogen we risk doubling its atmospheric concentration. One of hydrogen’s most significant unwanted properties is its capacity to increase methane abundance by up to 4 per cent. As the gas economy is viewed as a transition to the hydrogen economy, this may have severe greenhouse consequences for a world already overburdened with fugitive methane emissions.
Current codes for hydrogen storage in the US are onerous, requiring—among other things—expensive ventilation and explosion-proof equipment.9 This means that unless codes are relaxed a plethora of infrastructure from garages to road tunnels will require modification. Even if hydrogen is made safe to use, we are still left with a colossal CO2 pollution issue, which was exactly the opposite of what we set out to do. The only way that the hydrogen economy can help combat climate change is if the electricity grid is powered entirely from carbon-free sources. And this means acceptance of and investment in a series of technologies ranging from solar to nuclear. Strangely, neither the US government nor the vehicle manufacturers have shown much interest in laying the groundwork for this essential prerequisite for transition to the hydrogen economy. 5 THE SOLUTION TWENTY-NINE BRIGHT AS SUNLIGHT, LIGHT AS WIND Once we open the door to consider catastrophic changes, a whole new debate is engaged. If we do not know how human activities will affect the thin layer of life-supporting activities that gave birth to and nurture human civilisation and if we cannot reliably judge how potential geophysical changes will affect civilisation and the world around us…should we not be ultra-conservative and tilt towards preserving the natural world at the expense of economic growth and development?
The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin
"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, American ideology, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar
Within weeks of our meeting, I provided Romano with a strategic memorandum on the possibilities of using hydrogen as a storage carrier for renewable energies. President Prodi wasted no time. In June of 2003, at a Brussels conference, he announced a €2 billion hydrogen research initiative by the Commission to ready Europe for a hydrogen economy. In his opening remarks he explained the historic significance of employing hydrogen as a storage medium for a Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure: “But let us be clear about what makes the European hydrogen program truly visionary. It is our declared goal of achieving a step-by-step shift towards a fully integrated hydrogen economy, based on renewable energy sources, by the middle of the century.”37 Pillar 3 was now in place. In 2006, I prepared a second memo on the subject for Chancellor Merkel, suggesting that Germany launch its own hydrogen research and development initiative.
The senators were clearly preoccupied as they filed into the room and I wondered how I was going to keep their attention long enough to talk about a future hydrogen economy and how it related to the other pillars that make up the infrastructure of a new commercial era. Here we were in another war in the Middle East with the prospect of mass casualties and years of occupation. The media in other parts of the world, if not America, were already calling it an “oil war.” Iraq has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world, a fact not lost on political pundits who questioned whether we would have invaded the country if it had not been an oil treasure trove. To my surprise, the discussion was lively. A number of senators seemed genuinely interested in the prospects of a hydrogen economy. I noticed Senator Hillary Clinton in the back of the room listening intently to the conversation and taking down an occasional note.
, Fritjof Capra’s The Turning Point, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Economics of Innocent Fraud, and Jeremy Rifkin’s The Hydrogen Economy. I did a double take. I’d never met Mr. Chavez nor even corresponded with him. I glanced over to the article itself to see if I could glean any information on why Chavez was so taken by my book—after all, it was all about the sunset of the oil era, the lifeblood of his Venezuelan economy. Chavez remarked in the article that Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, had been pushing him to read the book, and he did. (I had never met Fidel Castro either.) The press reported that in July of 2006, on a state visit to Iran, Chavez had made a speech warning his Iranian audience to prepare themselves for a very different energy future after oil. Chavez referenced The Hydrogen Economy and informed his audience that “the book is based on something which is no longer a hypothesis—it is a thesis . . . oil will run out one day.”28 Most old hands in the Middle East didn’t need an American citing global peak oil studies to tell them something they already knew in their very marrow.
Climate Change by Joseph Romm
carbon footprint, Climatic Research Unit, decarbonisation, demand response, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge worker, mass immigration, performance metric, renewable energy transition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the scientific method
My conclusion in 2004 was that “hydrogen vehicles are unlikely to achieve even a 5% market penetration by 2030.” So hydrogen fuel cell cars were not going to be major contributor to addressing climate change. A 2013 study by independent research and advisory firm Lux Research came to a similar conclusion. Their study “The Great Compression: The Future of the Hydrogen Economy” concluded that despite billions in research and development spent in the past decade, “The dream of a hydrogen economy envisioned for decades by politicians, economists, and environmentalists is no nearer, with hydrogen fuel cells turning [into] a modest $3 billion market of about 5.9 GW in 2030.” For the purposes of this book, I am not discussing stationary fuel cells as a climate solution, because there is little reason to believe they will be a major contributor.
Working at such high pressures makes the entire storage system, including the fuel pumps, very complex. It requires materials and components that are complicated and costly. In addition, even a 10,000-psi tank takes up seven to eight times the volume of an equivalent-energy gasoline tank or perhaps four times the volume for a comparable range (because the FCV will be more fuel efficient than current cars). The 2004 National Academies of Science study on “The Hydrogen Economy” concluded that both liquid and compressed storage have “little promise of long-term practicality for light-duty vehicles” and recommended that DOE halt research in both areas. Practical hydrogen storage requires a major technology breakthrough, most likely in solid-state hydrogen storage. Yet, a decade later, nearly all hydrogen demonstration vehicles as well as those planned for market introduction still use compressed hydrogen storage.
What would happen if there were widespread use of hydrogen cars by people with unventilated garages? The former group leader for energy storage programs at Ford has argued “it is difficult to imagine how hydrogen risks can be managed acceptably by the general public when wide-scale deployment of the safety precautions would be costly and public compliance impossible to ensure.” It seems likely that major innovations in safety will be required before a hydrogen economy is practical. Another key issue is the infrastructure problem. Hydrogen fueling stations are very expensive, generally $1 million to $2 million, because safely pressurizing hydrogen to 10,000 pounds per square inch pressure is not easy. In addition, many stations receive (and store) hydrogen as a super-cooled liquid, which requires great care. The cost is a key reason why there are so few stations nationwide.
The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself-and Profit-from the Coming Energy Crisis by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb
Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, diversified portfolio, fixed income, hydrogen economy, income per capita, index fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit motive, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Vanguard fund, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond
The materials that absorb sunlight more efficiently aren’t constituted in such a way as to be able to split water. This is one roadblock to achieving a true hydrogen economy. There is a second problem: we need to make giant strides in our ability to store and transport hydrogen safely and efficiently. Hydrogen is a relatively unstable element, and you can’t just put it into, say, a canister and carry it around. Research is being done on creating lightweight but safe composite materials more suitable for hydrogen storage than anything we have now. And that’s still not all. If and when such materials are developed, the next issue would be building the large amount of infrastructure needed to have hydrogen available for widespread use. In sum, it seems to us that a real solar-based hydrogen economy is a long way off, many decades away at best. We’re not dismissing it as an ultimate possibility and think it’s an area that merits significant funding for research, but we certainly don’t think there is any possibility that it will be up and running in time to help us deal with the oil shortages and rising oil prices that lie in our more immediate future.
Hydrogen Car Hoopla If over the past few years you’ve paid any attention to developments on the renewable energy front, you may dimly recall that in 2003 there was some hoopla over hydrogen cars. In fact, the front page of the March 5 business section of the New York Times had the headline, “Hydrogen Vans and Pumps Head for Washington.” And President Bush in his 2004 budget proposal included a $1.7 billion subsidy for research into cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Maybe we’re being unduly pessimistic, and a hydrogen economy is closer at hand than we think? Not exactly. First, the touted General Motors hydrogen cars cost around $5 million each. GM’s vice president for research, Larry Burns, said he was optimistic that the company could produce an affordable car running on a hydrogen fuel cell by 2010, though he admitted it would be a challenge. And maybe it will happen—but it would be an amazing feat. To bring down the price from $5 million to the tens of thousands in such a short period of time would require economies of scale that would dwarf anything ever accomplished even by the electronics industry.
Moreover, even those who have questioned wind’s cost-competitiveness agree that if instead of looking just at coal’s market price you factor in the very real costs of coal’s environmental damage, wind is clearly competitive. Wind and Coal: Our Proposal Wind theoretically can supply the lion’s share of our electricity—but it can’t run our cars and trains and planes, so it can’t directly solve all the problems of diminishing oil and natural gas. Given this reality, and the fact that neither fusion nor a hydrogen economy based on advanced solar technology is anywhere in the immediate offing, how can we best get through the next decade and beyond? Is there any hope? We think there is. You may have wondered why in this chapter devoted to “new” energy alternatives, we dared in the above subhead to mention coal, a dirty old energy, in conjunction with wind. And we admit that it is a bit incongruous, reminiscent of those questions on intelligence tests given to four-year-olds where they have to spot what item doesn’t belong (pizza, hamburger, baseball bat, french fries).
The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future by Levi Tillemann
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, car-free, carbon footprint, cleantech, creative destruction, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, factory automation, global value chain, hydrogen economy, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, manufacturing employment, market design, megacity, Nixon shock, obamacare, oil shock, Ralph Nader, RFID, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, zero-sum game, Zipcar
5 Sudden Impact From Darwin to Adelaide Getting the Impact Out of the Chute Proof of Concept Nobody Paid Any Attention: Methanol, Natural Gas, and ZEVs A Matter of Perspective 6 CARB’s Long Reach Detroit Was King “No Plan B”: Commercializing Electric Vehicles California and Japan Toyota’s Moon Shot The Curious Case of Honda Trees Emit More Pollution than Hondas Defending the Mandate 7 The Electric Car Is Dead, Long Live the Electric Car Who Killed the Electric Car? The Culprits 8 Catching China’s Eye Revolutionary Road Leapfrog: Revolutions, Refugees, and the Education of Wan Gang Shame for Glory Part II Leapfrog 9 Sea Turtles, Spaceships, and the Hydrogen Economy Hearts and Minds Freedom from Electricity Wan Gang and His Sea Turtles Keeping Up Appearances 863’s Wild Ride Finding “Some Alternative” 10 Crazy Anegawa The Long Shadow of Fukushima Cars, Trucks, and Boats On the Ropes: Japan’s EV Industry After California The “Two Bests”: Toppling Toyota and Honda Searching for Hercules in Japan A “Halo Car” EVs Within Reach The Dream Machines Convening the Mandarins Into the Mainstream Not Quite First: Nissan Joins the Fray NEC: Subaru’s Heartbreaker 11 I’ll Be Back: California Returns Clean Cars (aka Pavley) Iron Man 1 Iron Man 2 12 Challenging the Big Green Monster Bush-Whacked Part III Three Crises 13 “Scared Shitless”: America’s Industrial Implosion The Lehman Shock Washington’s Cool Response Electroshock Therapy “Is This for Real?”
Poised on the starting line of the next and possibly final heat of the Great Race, they hoped that if China ran hard enough, it might retake the crown from Japan and America. The stakes were more than wealth, power, or global economic leadership. The prize was a victory that could expunge a century of humiliation, and supplant shame for glory. Wan Gang’s strategy was a go. Part II Leapfrog 9 Sea Turtles, Spaceships, and the Hydrogen Economy AFTER ALMOST a decade of technology-forcing policies, California’s regulators were beginning to have second thoughts. The goal of achieving a zero-emissions vehicle was still there, but the mechanics of making it happen were increasingly unclear. Two decades earlier the Air Resource Board had succeeded in stimulating a global revolution in pollution control by mandating that automakers reach emissions standards that most declared to be impossible.
Not only would they allow a dramatic expansion in nuclear power; they would increase plant utilization during off-peak hours. EVs could charge at night, while lights and other appliances were turned off. This could allow TEPCO to potentially sell a lot more electricity without building any expensive new generation plants. But it wasn’t just self-interest. Anegawa simply didn’t buy the whole “hydrogen economy” story that Toyota and Honda—and America—had been selling. Anegawa thought that fuel cells had major obstacles in terms of cost, infrastructure, hydrogen storage, and the carbon-free production of hydrogen fuel. In fact, there was a running joke in the automotive community that hydrogen was the fuel of the future, always had been the fuel of the future, and always would be the fuel of the future.
Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce
addicted to oil, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
The decarbonization trend is closely connected to another megatrend as well: the increasing use and availability of gaseous fuels. The hydrogen economy remains decades away. But the increasing use of natural gas confirms the projections made by analysts who have predicted that the world’s consumers will increasingly replace solid and liquid fuels with gaseous ones. Of course, the world will continue using coal, and lots of it, and oil, and lots of it, for many decades to come. But the trend toward gaseous fuels appears to be gathering speed. As Roberto F. Aguilera of the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis put it in a March 2009 analysis, “we are on our way towards a methane economy that could pave the way to a hydrogen economy.”21 The trend toward gaseous fuels and the decarbonization trend are companions. About 95 percent of the hydrogen now being produced is derived from natural gas.22 Thus, the long-anticipated and much-hyped “hydrogen economy,” if it ever arrives, must begin with a methane economy.
About 95 percent of the hydrogen now being produced is derived from natural gas.22 Thus, the long-anticipated and much-hyped “hydrogen economy,” if it ever arrives, must begin with a methane economy. And over the past few years, thanks to improvements in drilling and recovery technologies, the estimated volumes of the world’s recoverable natural gas resources have skyrocketed. It’s worth noting that, although the megatrend toward increased use and availability of gaseous fuels is now apparent, just a few years ago, some of the energy industry’s top people were convinced that we were running out of gas. In 2005, Lee Raymond, the famously combative CEO of Exxon Mobil, declared that “gas production has peaked in North America.”23 Raymond, who retired from the oil giant in 2006, said that his company was intent on building a new pipeline that would bring Arctic gas from Canada and Alaska south, and that more natural gas supplies would be needed “unless there’s some huge find that nobody has any idea where it would be.”24 Raymond wasn’t alone.
And the process of burning the waste also produces significant quantities of energy that can be captured to produce electricity. There are several methods for producing the fast neutrons needed for transmutation, but one promising technology appears to be a hybrid reactor that combines both fusion and fission. Fusion’s reputation has been tarnished by an excess of hype. Just like fuel cell–powered cars and the hydrogen economy, producing electricity from fusion has been touted as the Next Big Thing for decades. But the hybrid fusion reactors now being discussed are not designed for electricity production. Instead, their main purpose would be the production of fast neutrons, a process that is far less technically demanding. Those fast neutrons would be used to bombard the most problematic wastes, including plutonium, americium, curium, and neptunium, which have very long half-lives.
The Oil Age Is Over: What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil, 2005-2050 by Matt Savinar
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
He stated that fuel-cell vehicles would never amount to a significant market share. Hydrogen was ruled out as a solution because of intensive costs of production, inherent energy inefficiencies, lack of infrastructure, and practical difficulties such as the extreme cost and difficulty of storage.80 You may be wondering, "But didn't Bush say in the 2003 State of the Union speech that he was giving billions to develop the hydrogen economy?" Yes, he did say that, but he didn't mention that the money was going to fund using nuclear power to get the hydrogen. The limitations of nuclear power are discussed next. 36. What about Nuclear Power? If we're desperate, we won't have any choice but to use it. Nuclear power accounts for 8% of US energy production.81 As a replacement for oil, it is unsuitable for the following reasons: 1.
The government and news media wouldn't be lying to me, would they? I believe that the renewable energy charade is being kept up for two reasons: 47 The Oil Age is Over 1. Pacify the public, so they don't become alarmed at the obvious signs that fossil fuels are dwindling. 2. Keep the transportation industries insulated from the stock collapse that would ensue if the public knew the truth about things such as the “Hydrogen Economy.” 48 Part IV Issues of Economy, Technology, and the Ability to Adapt "Facts do not cease to be facts simply because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley "Anybody who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." -Kenneth Boulding "If you think a magic bullet solution is going to solve your problems, you may as well shoot yourself." -Unknown "Hummers are not the problem and Hybrids are not the solution" -Matt Savinar 49 The Oil Age is Over 45.
The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith
Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, G4S, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K
One way is to use highly pressurized hydrogen, but the collision safety of ten-thousand-psi tanks remains unproven. Early hydrogen supplies are all but certain to be made from fossil fuels, and thus will help little with reducing carbon emissions. In light of these challenges, most experts agree that a hydrogen economy lies at least thirty to forty years in the future, at which point hydrogen fuel-cell cars might possibly be the new “next-generation” technology that plug-in hybrids are today. Under the conservative ground rules of our thought experiment, we will assume the world will not convert to a hydrogen economy by the year 2050. Running on Moonshine and Wood Unlike hydrogen, biofuels offer a quicker solution to the liquid-fuels problem. Like gasoline, they are refined hydrocarbons that are burned in an internal combustion engine. They use the same filling stations and, with only slight modifications, the same car and truck engines of today.122 The only real difference between biofuels and current fuels is that they are made from contemporary organic matter rather than ancient organic matter, and are somewhat cleaner.
By examining these trends collectively, and identifying convergences and parallels between them, it becomes possible to imagine, with reasonable scientific credibility, what our world might look like in forty years’ time, should things continue on as they are now. This is a thought experiment about our world in 2050. It can be fun imagining what our world might look like by then. Robots and flying cars? Custom-grown body parts? A hydrogen economy? As any disappointed sci-fi buff will tell you, the pace of reality is usually slower than human imagination. Fans of George Orwell’s book 1984, the television series Lost in Space and Space 1999, the films 2001: A Space Odyssey, and (it’s looking like) Blade Runner—set in a perpetually raining 2019 Los Angeles—see their landmark years come and go. But outside of the ongoing technical explosions in information and biotechnologies, our lives are considerably less different than the writers of these fictional works imagined they would be.
However, they are released at the hydrogen plant, unless fossil fuels or biomass can be avoided as sources of energy or feedstocks. In principle, solar, wind, or hydroelectric power could be used to split hydrogen from a water feedstock, making the entire process quite pollution-free from beginning to end. Sounds wonderful, and many energy experts and futurists believe that one day we will have a full-blown hydrogen economy. The ultimate dream is to use solar energy to split hydrogen from seawater, thus providing the world with an infinite supply of clean hydrogen fuel—and even some freshwater as a bonus—with no air pollution or greenhouse gases. But nothing like that will be in place by 2050. Years of research are needed to resolve a rat’s nest of challenges concealed within the previous two paragraphs, with major technology advances and cost reductions necessary in all areas.121 Basic research in hydrogen manufacture, transport, and fuel cells is still lacking.
Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram
addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, demand response, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, financial innovation, fixed income, global supply chain, global village, Google Earth, hive mind, hydrogen economy, index fund, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, M-Pesa, market clearing, market design, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Negawatt, off grid, oil shock, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, renewable energy transition, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, time value of money, undersea cable, wikimedia commons
YieldCo market values 4.3 How solar securitization works 4.4 Required investment levels in solar power to limit climate change Chapter 5 5.1 Global distribution of populations without access to electricity 5.2 How the PAYG model works 5.3 Current and forecast cost of an SHS 5.4 Using microgrids and main grid extensions to electrify Nigeria Chapter 6 6.1 Harnessing sunlight with a silicon solar cell 6.2 How a tandem perovskite/silicon cell works 6.3 Comparison of solar PV efficiency across different technologies 6.4 The DOE SunShot 2030 cost road map for solar power Chapter 7 7.1 Diagram of JCAP’s 10-percent-efficient PEC prototype 7.2 A vision of the hydrogen economy 7.3 How a CSP power tower works 7.4 Historical and targeted costs of CSP Chapter 8 8.1 A global supergrid 8.2 Schematic cost comparison of AC versus DC power lines 8.3 The twentieth-century paradigm of the electric grid 8.4 Schematic of what a hybrid grid might look like Chapter 9 9.1 Comparison of lithium-ion battery and solar PV panel costs 9.2 Overview of various electricity storage technologies and attributes 9.3 Estimates of battery storage capacity needed to power the United States with 100 percent renewable energy 9.4 Grid penetration of solar PV as a function of PV and storage costs Chapter 10 10.1 Historical and projected government funding for energy innovation in top countries 10.2 Historical U.S.
Already, Japan’s power utilities have warned that its balkanized grid may not be up to the task of integrating large quantities of intermittent solar power, and that the need for storage is growing.33 Still, Japan is taking baby steps toward realizing the second future. The government is third in the world in its funding for research and development (R&D) of advanced solar energy technologies.34 And Japan is enthusiastic about setting up a nationwide hydrogen economy to slash fossil fuel imports and instead run its industries and vehicles off a fuel that could one day be produced from sunlight. The symbolism was all around me as I left Rokkasho. Just as the nuclear reprocessing plant was now behind me, the era of rapid nuclear power expansion is probably behind Japan, for better or worse. A couple of minutes later, on the highway, I found, on my right, an array of storage tanks—a strategic petroleum reserve to protect Japan from foreign oil disruptions—and on my left, a solar farm.
Figure 7.2 envisions solar fuels displacing petroleum across various sectors, from powering vehicles to producing plastics. Solar-generated hydrogen could be used directly as a transportation fuel for vehicles like the Toyota Mirai. Or it could be combined with carbon dioxide in a facility that might be called a “solar refinery,” to create the same range of hydrocarbon fuels that are produced today in oil refineries and then used in a range of industries and as transport fuels. Figure 7.2 A vision of the hydrogen economy. Source: Reprinted with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry. As futuristic as all of that sounds, Nocera wants to do something even harder. He wants to bypass hydrogen production and use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce carbon-containing fuels directly. If this maneuver could be done cost-effectively and at scale, it would be the most efficient, single-shot method of storing sunlight in the most convenient fuels known to humankind.
The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World by John Michael Greer
back-to-the-land, Black Swan, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, David Strachan, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Extropian, failed state, feminist movement, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, hydrogen economy, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, mass immigration, McMansion, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Project for a New American Century, Ray Kurzweil, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K
Because of the ready availability of petroleum energy, a huge proportion of industrial society’s capital plant — the collection of tools, artifacts, personnel, social systems, information and human geography, among other things, that provide the productive basis for society — has been designed and built to use petroleum-based fuels, and only petroleum-based fuels. Converting it to anything else involves much more than just providing another energy source. Think for a moment of the difficulties that would be involved in building the sort of hydrogen economy so often touted as the solution to the energy shortages of the near future. For the sake of discussion, grant that the massive amounts of electricity needed to turn seawater into hydrogen gas in sufficient volume will turn up, despite the severe challenges facing every source proposed so far. Getting the electricity to make the hydrogen, though, is only the first of a series of tasks with huge price tags in money, energy, raw materials, labor and time.
Some of the oil will be used directly by construction equipment, trucks hauling parts to the new plants and the like. Much more will be used indirectly, since nearly every commodity and service in the industrial world today relies on petroleum in one way or another. Until a substantial fraction of the hydrogen system is in place, it won’t be possible to use hydrogen to supplement dwindling petroleum production. Instead, the energy costs of building the hydrogen economy will create a massive additional source of demand, pushing fuel prices higher and making scarce fuel even less available for other uses. The same thing is true of any other alternative energy system that attempts to replace an existing fossil fuel. The costs differ depending on how much of the existing infrastructure has to be replaced, but there’s always a price tag — and nearly all of the energy needed to pay that price will have to come from fossil fuels, because those are the 167 168 T he E cotechnic F u t u re energy sources our civilization has on hand right now.
Ziarek, Ewa Plonowska, An Ethics of Dissensus: Postmodernity, Feminism, and the Politics of Radical Democracy, Stanford University Press, 2001. 261 Index A advertising, 155–156 agriculture, 25–28, 30, 147 amateur radio, 156–157, 216 anacyclosis, 231 Anderson, Sherry Ruth, 200 appropriate ecology, 215–216 Aristotle, 214 Augustine of Hippo, 207 B Bacon, Francis, 214 Bateson, Gregory, 222 bats, evolution of, 58–61 Bell, Daniel biodiesel, 106, 116, 151 biodynamic agriculture, 103 biointensive organic gardening, 103 biophobia, 114–115 Black Death, 87 bog iron, 72 Brand, Stewart, 121–122 brewers, 147 Brown, Lester, 94–5 Burke, Edmund, 79 C Carson, Rachel, 11 Catton, William, 41 ceramics industry, Roman, 135–137 cities in the deindustrial world, 182–186 263 264 T he E cotechnic F u t u re climate change, 41, 50–54 climax community, 21–23, 25, 29–30 cob building, 123 composting, 107–112, 113, 115 Condorcet, Marquis de, 228 conserver society, 12 Costanza, Robert, 15 “crackpot realism,” 16 Crimean War, 80 CTL (coal-to-liquids) fuel production, 161–162 “cultural creatives,” 200–201 culture death, 49–50 culture wars, 191 D dark age(s), xiii, 150, 184 Darwin, Charles, 193 decline and fall of civilizations, 17, 38, 150, 243 deep time, 62 democracy, 186–188 depopulation, 39, 41–43 Dijkstra, Bram, 193–194 disintegration, political and cultural, 40, 46–50 dissensus, 96–99, 246 draft horses, 116–117 E Easter Island, 20, 89 ecology, 3, 17, 187, 215–216, 221, 240ecosophy, 221–222, 241ecotechnic trades, 149 education industry, 153–154 emergy (embodied energy), 71 energy flows, 4–5 energy slaves, 142–144, 152–153 energy subsidies, 165–166 ethanol, 13–14, 106 evolution, 35, 57–62, 96, 192–193, 237–238, 243–244 external proletariat, 195 Extropian movement, 226 Index F farmer’s markets, 24, 127–128 feces as fertilizer, 112–115 feminism, 131–133 Ferguson, Marilyn, 201 fossil fuels, 8–12, 33, 61, 69–70, 134, 159, 164 Friedman, Thomas, 53 Friedrichs, Pete, 156 Fukuyama, Francis, 225–226, 229 fundamentalism, Christian, 205–6 G Gentile, Giovanni, 229 ghost acreage, 41, 42 Ghost Dance, 63 Gibbon, Edward, 54 globalism, 64 Google, 37–8 Gould, Stephen Jay, 62 Grafton, Anthony, 232 H hedgerows, 216 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 229–230 Holmgren, David, 103 home economics, 131–133 homeostasis, 84–88 household economy, 128–130, 133–134, 138–139 Hubbert, M. King, 41 Hubbert curve, 41–42, 75 human ecologies, 6–8, 29, 33, 36, 67 “humanure,” 113 Hummer, 13 hunter-gatherer(s), 6, 25, 61–62 hydrogen economy, 166–167 I ibn Khaldûn, 89–91, 231 illusion of independence, 16–17, 33, 79 imaginary futures, xi, 153, 245 265 266 T he E cotechnic F u t u re information storage, 199 innovation, 161–164 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 51 internal proletariat, 195 irrigation, 89–90 J Japan, 46 Jeavons, John, 103 Jevons’ paradox, 171–173 Jevons, William Stanley, 171 Joachim of Flores, 228, 230 Johnson, Warren, 93 Jung, Carl, 83 K K-selected species, 22–25, 30, 102, 110 Keynes, John Maynard, 37 King, F.
The Burning Answer: The Solar Revolution: A Quest for Sustainable Power by Keith Barnham
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, carbon footprint, credit crunch, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, wikimedia commons
Either battery or fuel cell can feed electricity to the same electric motor under automatic control. Fuel cell powered buses are now running on the streets of many cities. In 2013 Hyundai claimed that their ix35 Fuel Cell would be the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. They say that they will be producing 1,000 in 2015. There are still a number of problems with developing a ‘hydrogen economy’, which have led to controversy among analysts about the economics of the car and the belief that the growth in the take-up of hydrogen-electric hybrid cars may be slow. As with all new technologies, the initial costs will be high. The development of cheaper catalysts would help. Then there is the need for a network of hydrogen refuelling stations. These will be more expensive than battery recharging stations, in particular because of safety issues.
This will also mean that after the fire, or after spillage, the ground pollution will be less as the alcohol will be diluted. The ‘Ethanol Economy’, in which ethanol replaces the fossil fuels on which so many of our industries are dependent, is being promoted by the Nobel Prize-winner George Olah, together with Alain Goeppert and Surya Prakash. The three have written a book, Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy, arguing that this would be more versatile, safer and more economic than a ‘Hydrogen Economy’. As with hydrogen, the first issue to be addressed is whether methanol and ethanol can be produced in such a way that the overall carbon footprint is very much lower than petrol. This can be achieved if two conditions hold: first, all the carbon atoms in the alcohols must originate from carbon dioxide extracted from the air; second, no new carbon dioxide molecules can be emitted into the air during fuel production.
Hyundai, ‘Hyundai iX35 Fuel Cell Farm’, http://www.hyundai.co.uk/about-us/environment/hydrogen-fuel-cell, accessed 5 February 2014. 13. Solar Fuel The methanol fuel cell electric car that is being developed in Denmark is described in an article on the Hybrid Cars website . The 57 per cent efficient methanol fuel cell is already available from Serenergy  and I have had some extremely useful discussions with Mads Bang the CTO of that company . A comparison of the merits of the ‘methanol economy’ and the ‘hydrogen economy’ for domestic and industrial processes and also transportation, plus their safety in comparison with petrol, can be found in the definitive book by the Nobel Prize-winner George Olah and colleagues . For more information on the safety of methanol, see the US Methanol Institute website . The American Physical Society (APS) report, which concludes that direct air capture of CO2 with chemicals is not currently economically viable, can be downloaded from the APS website .
The Switch: How Solar, Storage and New Tech Means Cheap Power for All by Chris Goodall
3D printing, additive manufacturing, decarbonisation, demand response, Elon Musk, energy transition, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, M-Pesa, Negawatt, off grid, Peter Thiel, smart meter, standardized shipping container, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons
Although it contains a lot of usable energy per unit of weight, it is poor when considered in terms of volume. Even liquefied hydrogen only has about a quarter of the energy density of the same volume of liquid hydrocarbons such as petrol. In addition, making hydrogen liquid either requires very high pressure or very low temperatures. Neither is cheap to achieve. The advance of what is optimistically called the hydrogen economy is likely also to be impeded by public concerns over the safety of large amounts of hydrogen stored, for example, as the fuel for cars. Nevertheless, several countries are experimenting with hydrogen cars, and with hydrogen refuelling stations. The estimates I have seen suggest a current cost of about £1 million for each high pressure storage location, helping to explain why there are still only about 150 hydrogen refuelling stations around the world.
This would be far cheaper than a network of liquid hydrogen storage tanks, pipelines and refuelling points, but still highly expensive. As a result, some commentators who have looked at the problems are now highly sceptical about whether hydrogen (either in its molecular form or combined with nitrogen in ammonia) can provide the cheap seasonal storage that some of the world needs to meet energy deficits when the sun is low in the sky. The ‘hydrogen economy’ about which many people have enthused as a way of completely avoiding the use of carbon-based fuels looks difficult and expensive to achieve. Former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu famously noted that cost-effective hydrogen fuel cells (which convert hydrogen back into water and generate an electric current in the process) required four miracles to happen. ‘If you need four miracles, that’s unlikely: saints only need three miracles,’ he concluded.
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku
agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize
Pollution is similar: given enough energy, pollutants can be transformed into manageable products; if need be, disassembled into their constituent products.” We also face another issue: the rise of a middle class in China and India, one of the great demographic changes of the postwar era, which has created enormous pressure on oil and commodity prices. Seeing McDonald’s hamburgers and two-car garages in Hollywood movies, they also want to live the American dream of wasteful energy consumption. SOLAR/HYDROGEN ECONOMY In this regard, history seems to be repeating itself. Back in the 1900s, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, two longtime friends, made a bet as to which form of energy could fuel the future. Henry Ford bet on oil replacing coal, with the internal combustion engine replacing steam engines. Thomas Edison bet on the electric car. It was a fateful bet, whose outcome would have a profound effect on world history.
The critical period will be the next few decades. By midcentury, we should be in the hydrogen age, where a combination of fusion, solar power, and renewables should give us an economy that is much less dependent on fossil fuel consumption. A combination of market forces and advances in hydrogen technology should give us a long-term solution to global warming. The danger period is now, before a hydrogen economy is in place. In the short term, fossil fuels are still the cheapest way to generate power, and hence global warming will pose a danger for decades to come. FUSION POWER By midcentury, a new option arises that is a game changer: fusion. By that time, it should be the most viable of all technical fixes, perhaps giving us a permanent solution to the problem. While fission power relies on splitting the uranium atom, thereby creating energy (and a large amount of nuclear waste), fusion power relies on fusing hydrogen atoms with great heat, thereby releasing vastly more energy (with very little waste).
Dyson, Freeman, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 Dyson sphere Ebola virus Economics bubbles and crashes entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 far future (2070) four stages of technology and fundamental forces of the universe and job market, 7.1, 7.2 midcentury (2030) near future (present to 2030) science and technology as engines of prosperity Type I civilization and See also Intellectual capitalism Edison, Thomas, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Education, itr.1, itr.2, 1.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1 EEG (electroencephalogram), 1.1, 1.2 Einstein, Albert, itr.1, itr.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 8.1 Eisenhower, Dwight Ekenstam, Robin Elbon, John Electric cars Electricity as utility Electromagnetic force, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2 Emergent phenomena Emotional robots Energy carbon nanotubes and electric cars far future (2070) life’s origins and magnetic energy, 5.1, 9.1 midcentury (2030) for molecular machines near future (present to 2030) nuclear fission nuclear weapons, dangers of oil Planck energy solar/hydrogen economy solar power space solar power volcano vents as source of wind power See also Global warming; Nuclear fusion English as lingua franca Entertainment, human need for, itr.1, itr.2, itr.3 Entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 Entropy civilizations and longevity and Environmental threats, 8.1. See also Global warming Environmental understanding Epic of Gilgamesh, The Estrogen Europa exploration European civilization, rise of, 7.1, 7.2 Expert systems Extinct life-forms, resurrection of Fantastic Voyage (movie) Faraday, Michael Farnsworth, Philo Farokhzad, Omid Fashion industry Feudalism Feynman, Richard, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 Flash Gordon series Fleischmann, Martin Flu virus, 3.1, 3.2, 8.1 Food production, 3.1, 3.2 Forbidden Planet (movie), itr.1, 1.1 Ford, Henry, 5.1, 7.1, 8.1 Fossil fuels Fountains of Paradise, The (Clarke) Franklin, Benjamin, 8.1, 8.2 Freedman, Joshua Freitas, Robert A., Jr.
The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey
NINE - IDEOLOGICAL THINKING IN A MODERN MARKET ECONOMY TEN - PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN A POSTMODERN EXISTENTIAL WORLD PART III - THE AGE OF EMPATHY ELEVEN - THE CLIMB TO GLOBAL PEAK EMPATHY TWELVE - THE PLANETARY ENTROPIC ABYSS THIRTEEN - THE EMERGING ERA OF DISTRIBUTED CAPITALISM FOURTEEN - THE THEATRICAL SELF IN AN IMPROVISATIONAL SOCIETY FIFTEEN - BIOSPHERE CONSCIOUSNESS IN A CLIMAX ECONOMY NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALSO BY JEREMY RIFKIN Common Sense II Own Your Own Job Who Should Play God? (WITH TED HOWARD) The Emerging Order The North Will Rise Again (WITH RANDY BARBER) Entropy (WITH TED HOWARD) Algeny Declaration of a Heretic Time Wars Biosphere Politics Beyond Beef Voting Green (WITH CAROL GRUNEWALD) The End of Work The Biotech Century The Age of Access The Hydrogen Economy The European Dream JEREMY P. TARCHER/PENGUIN Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Copyright © 2009 by Jeremy Rifkin All rights reserved.
But if some of the electricity being generated when renewable energy is abundant can be used to extract hydrogen from water, which can then be stored for later conversion back to electricity, society will have a continuous supply of power. In 2008, the European Commission announced a Joint Technology Initiative ( JTI), an ambitious public/private partnership to speed the commercial introduction of a hydrogen economy in the twenty-seven member states of the EU, with the primary focus on producing hydrogen from renewable sources of energy. By benchmarking a shift to renewable energy, advancing the notion of buildings as power plants, and funding an aggressive hydrogen fuel-cell technology R&D program, the EU has erected the first three pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution. The fourth pillar, the reconfiguration of the power grid along the lines of the Internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe, the United States, Japan, China, and other countries.
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Age of Access. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2000. ———. Biosphere Politics. New York: Crown Publishers, 1991. ———. The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1998. ———. The End of Work. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995. ———. Entropy. New York: Bantam Books, 1981. ———. The European Dream. New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2004. ———. The Hydrogen Economy. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2002. ———. Time Wars: The Primary Confl ict in Human History. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1987. Roszak, Theodore. The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 2001. ———. The Making of a Counter Culture: Refl ections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
The Long Boom: A Vision for the Coming Age of Prosperity by Peter Schwartz, Peter Leyden, Joel Hyatt
American ideology, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, computer age, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, hydrogen economy, industrial cluster, informal economy, intangible asset, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, open borders, Productivity paradox, QR code, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Y2K
Fuel cells, the clean energy technology that could well supersede the internal combustion engine, went from a controversial technology to a mainstream one in the last year. Today virtually every major auto and energy company has a serious investment in bringing fuel cells and the accompanying infrastructure to the market. Governments and universities are hosting conferences about how to prepare for the coming hydrogen economy. And in the last year, micro fuel cells, which can sustain power to laptops and the like for far longer than batteries, have been demonstrated for the first time. No technology has accelerated faster in the last year than nanotechnology, which is the whole new field of molecular engineering, or making devices at the atomic level. Developments in just the last year have astounded even longtime proponents and cutting edge researchers.
50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson
23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional
Haptic technology The use of human touch or sensation to control machines or devices or the use of artificially created tactile sensations via joysticks, gloves or clothing to give the impression that something exists or is happening when it’s not. Links with gesture-based computing, virtual reality and immersive gaming. Holographic telepresence Full-motion 3D videoconferencing or other projections of fully realistic physical presence for business or entertainment purposes. Hydrogen economy The widescale generation and adoption of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy, especially for motive power. Inductive charging Wireless recharging. Links to the broadcasting of electricity. In vitro meat Meat that is grown or cultured in a laboratory or factory without the need for a living animal. Molecular assembly or manufacturing The human movement, or assembly, of individual molecules to produce anything you want.
Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin
addicted to oil, air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, BRICs, business cycle, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, energy security, food miles, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Just-in-time delivery, market clearing, megacity, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit maximization, reserve currency, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, zero-sum game
We will need to see prices for carbon emissions at least in the $60-to $70-per-ton range before anyone is going to even look commercially at carbon capture and sequestration. That’s $60 to $70 dollars more than carbon emissions currently cost in the US economy, the Canadian economy or the Australian economy. In short, without putting a very substantial price on carbon emissions in our economy, CCS is nothing more than a pipe dream. And speaking of monumental challenges, there is always the distant dream of tomorrow’s hydrogen economy. But if a fleet of electric cars is difficult to imagine, consider the obstacles to switching to one powered by hydrogen. For one thing, hydrogen is a lot like electricity in that it is not an energy source—it is an energy carrier. Hydrogen does not come gushing out of the ground: you have to produce it, and that takes fuel. Producing sufficient hydrogen to run the US vehicle fleet—about enough to fill 13,000 Hindenburg dirigibles every day—would require doubling electrical generating capacity.
The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind (Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1796) https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1669 (accessed May 11, 2019). CHAPTER 4 1. J.-F. Mercure et al., “Macroeconomic Impact of Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets,” Nature Climate Change 8, no. 7 (2018): 588–93, doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0182-1. 2. “Declaration of the European Parliament on Establishing a Green Hydrogen Economy and a Third Industrial Revolution in Europe Through a Partnership with Committed Regions and Cities, SMEs and Civil Society Organisations,” 2007, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52007IP0197 (accessed March 23, 2019). 3. “Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources,” Official Journal of the European Union (2009): L 140/17. 4.
Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game
Alternative Fuel Council under the first President Bush, has written: “If annual production increases by three billion gallons in 2012—a plausibly modest number when the EPA made its own calculations—we estimate that the costs will exceed the benefits by about $1 billion a year. If domestic production reaches the more ‘optimistic’ Energy Department projection for that year, net economic costs would likely top $2 billion annually.” Hahn’s essay “Ethanol’s Bottom Line” appeared in The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2007. 27 For a concise introduction to the extreme difficulty of economically powering cars with hydrogen, see Matthew L. Wald, “Questions About a Hydrogen Economy,” Scientific American, May 2004. 28 Romm quoted in Robert S. Boyd, “Hydrogen Cars May Be a Long Time Coming,” McClatchy Newspapers, May 15, 2007. Joseph J. Romm, The Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2005). 29 Thomas L. Friedman, “The Democratic Recession,” The New York Times, May 7, 2008. 30 World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 45. 31 Russell Gold, “As Prices Surge, Oil Giants Turn Sludge into Gold,” The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2006. 32 The survey was conducted online, and the sample was small—just 501 respondents—and the project was partly sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland, which is not only involved in the manufacture of bioplastics but also bears a major responsibility for the economic distortions built into the U.S. corn market and for the absurd federal subsidies for the production of ethanol, but the results are consistent with my own informal sampling.
Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm
3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus
Consider, for example, the abundant geothermal heat in Iceland and its capacity to generate electricity. It could supply the UK, and from there other parts of Europe. Wind generation in northern Norway and throughout the North Sea can supply intermittent power to Europe, as indeed Denmark currently facilitates. As an alternative to electricity transmission, Iceland (geothermal) and Norway (wind) could provide the feedstock for a hydrogen economy through the process of electrolysis. In Iceland, there is potentially almost no limit to the scale with which this could be done. If hydrogen takes off as a viable fuel, initially for the harder-to-reach transport of ships and larger vehicles, and perhaps also trains, then its manufacture will, like oil and gas, be concentrated in specific geographical locations. If the hydrogen can be transported readily (possibly as ammonia), it can be made in remote locations, using not only geothermal but also large-scale hydro power.
Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
addicted to oil, anti-communist, Atul Gawande, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, kremlinology, market fundamentalism, McMansion, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart meter, statistical model, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks
Interviews with multiple ExxonMobil executives and former executives. It is not clear which year ExxonMobil first incorporated an assumption about carbon pricing in the United States into its forecasts, but it appears to have been around 2007, after the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and began to gather momentum in anticipation of the 2008 presidential election. 8. “The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers and R&D Needs,” National Academy of Sciences Press, 2004. 9. Interview with Sally Benson. 10. “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Opportunities and Challenges,” slides presented in Brussels, Belgium, November 25, 2003, author’s files and www.exxonmobil.com/files/PA/Europe/Blewisfinal_Amcham.pdf. 11. Lee Raymond: Fair Disclosure transcript, ExxonMobil Corporation Analyst Meeting Overview, March 4, 2003.
., “Global Climate Changes as Forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies Three-Dimensional Model.” Journal of Geophysical Research 93, no. D8 (August 20, 1988) pps. 9341–64. Hanson, Stephanie. “China, Africa and Oil.” Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder, June 6, 2008. Hartley, Peter R., and Kenneth B. Medlock. “Climate Policy and Energy Security: Two Sides of the Same Coin?” Baker Institute, Houston, November 19, 2008. “The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers and R&D Needs.” National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences Press, 2004. “Interagency Support on Conflict Assessment and Mission Performance Planning for Chad.” March 20, 2006. “IPCC Second Assessment: Climate Change 1995.” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and subsequent assessments. “Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories.”
Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison
addicted to oil, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional
But the US has to import 95% of its platinum needs; hardly a strategy for resource independence (US Geological Survey, 2007). To date there has been scant tangible evidence of a technological breakthrough, despite the launch of the first fuel cell car in 1993 by METALS | 193 Ballard, the Canadian fuel cell development company. Estimates back in the 1990s of a fuel cell car market worth billions by the middle of this decade, as part of the new ‘hydrogen economy’, have so far fallen well short of the mark. This may be due to fuel cells getting caught up in the technology hype of the 1990s. The availability of platinum has meant that fuel cells remain a key part of research for the car industry, though other fuel cells have also been introduced this decade to replace batteries in mobile devices such as laptops and lawnmowers. Companies have been very guarded about their research programmes.
Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce
addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War
See any number of presentations by Lovins on energy independence. One sample: his presentation before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on March 7, 2006. Available: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm ?FuseAction=Hearings.Testimony&Hearing_ID=1534&Witness_ID=4345. Or see Winning the Energy Endgame, by Lovins et al., 228, discussing the final push toward “total energy independence” and the move to the hydrogen economy. 6. National Apollo Alliance Steering Committee statement. Available: http:// www.apolloalliance.org/about_the_alliance/who_we_are/steeringcommittee.cfm. 7. At approximately 1:32 into the movie, in a section that discusses what individuals can do to counter global warming, a text message comes onto the screen: “Reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help farmers grow alcohol fuels.” 8. AMPAS data.
The Future of Technology by Tom Standage
air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, creative destruction, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, Marc Andreessen, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K
The car of the future, today Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles promise to be the cleanest mode of transportation, eliminating harmful tailpipe emissions altogether. But despite much publicity, and the fact that most carmakers are working on the technology, fuel-cell cars will not appear in significant quantities any time soon. America’s National Academy of Sciences, which advises the government on new technologies, recently estimated that the transition to a “hydrogen economy” will probably take decades, since many challenges remain – in particular, how to produce, store and distribute hydrogen in sufficient quantities. Hybrid cars, however, offer many of the benefits of fuel-cell vehicles, with the huge advantage that they are available now. Moreover, as the success of the Prius shows, people will actually buy them. The beauty of petrol-electric hybrids is that they do not require any changes in driver behaviour or the fuel-delivery infrastructure. 297 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY Rather than being mere stepping-stones on the way to the hydrogen cars of the future, petrol-electric hybrids are likely to be around for years, if not decades, to come.
Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve
African fertilities decline much faster than expected. Indian population growth decelerates rapidly. Rest of the world sees population stagnations and declines. Aging populations consume less and this, in combination with relative dematerialization, eases the burdens imposed on the biosphere. Economic growth moderates while advances in energy conversion and storage usher in affordable all-electric or hydrogen economies. Natural ecosystems begin their comeback, as forests have already done in Europe and parts of North America. I wish all of this came to pass as rapidly as possible—but acting as responsible risk minimizers we cannot simply hope for low-probability outcomes. There is no need to be a catastrophist in order to see what I call the great obverse: all that we have lost as a result of growth in general and mass consumption of artifacts and experiences in particular, the extent to which we have already imperiled the life on Earth, and the potential for further damage resulting from a growing population and rising aspirations.