My Post yesterday revisited the intersections that shape our future. Convergence across multiple domains sets these intersections in motion. In this context, convergence refers to a virtuous cycle where events in one domain spur action in another. The great inventions (electricity, telephone, and internal combustion engine) were clustered together at the end of the 19th century, forming a virtuous cycle that drove a period of astounding innovation. Several Catalysts drove an enabling convergence across the economy, science, technology, business, geopolitics, and a broader set of societal issues.
One scenario explored in the post yesterday was Energy. The current global pandemic is wrought with uncertainty. Does it accelerate aspects of our future, inhibit advancement, or accomplish both? Broadly speaking, it is both, and in the case of energy, some are positioning it as an Accelerant. This Article by Julia Horowitz describes the possible driver: a plunge in oil demand triggered by the pandemic. Ms. Horowitz mentions that UBS analysts estimate that earnings in the sector were down 172% on average last quarter compared to the same period a year ago. She states that pressure is mounting on producers to make big strategy moves that companies have long resisted.
Case in point: BP said last week that it would slash oil and gas production and pour billions of dollars into clean energy, speeding up a transition it teased earlier this year. The company estimates a considerable (upwards of 75%) drop in demand for fossil fuels in the next 30 years. BP chairman Helge Lund had this to say: “Energy markets have begun a process of fundamental lasting change, shifting increasingly towards low carbon and renewables. Over the longer term, the demand for both oil and gas will be increasingly challenged.” There are several behind-the-scenes factors that contribute to this acceleration. Some banks are backing away from lending money to the industry, and shareholders are being pressured by activists to stay clear of hydrocarbons.
It was back in 2014 when I wrote about the Energy Internet. In his book titled The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Rifkin describes how Internet technology and renewable energies are merging to create an energy Internet that changes the way power is generated and distributed in society – a paradigm shift in energy similar to what occurred in computing. He describes an emergent system with synergies between Five Pillars that drive this paradigm shift:
- Shifting to renewable energy
- Transforming buildings into micro–power plants to collect renewable energies
- Deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies to store intermittent energies
- Using Internet technology to transform the power grid into an energy Internet
- Transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid
Progress has been steady but slow in most cases. But as catalysts have done throughout history, the pandemic may drive a tipping point. Explore more about COVID-19 via these earlier posts.
FEATURED: A Post Pandemic Society
- The Great Acceleration
- The Future Of The Office And Changing Work For The Better
- Tectonic Shifts Expected As Digital Expands
- COVID-19 Is Not Slowing Artificial Intelligence Down
- What History Tells Us About Deglobalization
- The Augmented Age: An Accelerated Path
- The Personalized Health Ecosystem
- Aftershocks and Opportunities: Scenarios For A Post-Pandemic Future
- The Emergence Of New Commerce Centers And More
- Some Job Opportunities Likely To Expand
- The Far Reaching Implications Of A Shifting Work Dynamic
- Reflect, Reimagine, and Reset
- Human Behavior Determines The Path
- The Technologies And trends Accelerated By COVID-19
- Blasting Into A Contactless Future
- Digital Learning And Resilient Supply Chains
- Will Coronavirus Accelerate the Path To A Surveillance State?
- Does COVID-19 Accelerate The Loss of Jobs To Automation?
- Lack Of Comfort In Close Spaces
- A Post-Pandemic Virtual Roundtable
- Learning From Leaders Around The World
- A Digital Divide
- What Behavior Changes Will Stick?
- 30 Top Experts Describe The Things That Will Change Forever
- Global Economic Recovery
- Does COVID-19 Change Your View of Innovation?
- COVID-19 As An Accelerant
- COVID-19 Tuesday Morning News
- How Long Until The Economic New Normal?
- We Must Think Critically and Differently
- How Might The World Respond?
- Rehearsing Possible Post COVID-19 Futures
- Possible Futures Emerging Across Multiple Domains
- More Thought Leaders Weigh In On A Post Pandemic Future
- Mid-Pandemic Impact on Supply Chains
- Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Scenarios
- Is The Canary Dead?
- How Will The Corona Virus Impact Globalization?
- The Corona Virus Serves As A Catalyst For Change
- Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Scenarios
- COVID-19 Monday Morning News
- Anatomy Of An Outbreak
- Discussing A Post-Pandemic Society on Salem Radio Network
- The COVID-19 Economic Impact On China and a Glimpse Of The Future
- Assessing A Post Pandemic Future: A Video
- Coronavirus: Permanent Change? 34 Big Thinkers Explore the Possibilities
- Futurist Gerd Leonhard Looks Back From The Near Future
2 thoughts on “Accelerating Towards A New Energy Paradigm”
[…] I wrote about the potential Acceleration towards a New Energy Paradigm. When we consider the building blocks on the innovation wheel that shape this emerging paradigm, […]
[…] just one piece of a very disruptive decade ahead – but it is perhaps the biggest piece. As we Accelerate Towards a new energy paradigm, what can we expect? One thing is certain: there are societal and […]