Each Monday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, shares the top 3 to 5 energy revolution stories that have been revealed to the world in the past week.
In Energy Revolutions – Diamonds are forever we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, December 5th, 2016. We see nuclear diamonds, space-based solar power, rising electric vehicle sales, and taking a bit out of oil usage.
‘Diamond-age’ of power generation as nuclear batteries developed
Read more at The University of Bristol
Houston, we have power: Space-based solar power could be the final frontier in renewable energy
But since the 1960s, a group of researchers from NASA and the Pentagon have been thinking outside the box — or in this case, outside the atmosphere. Solar power captured in outer space would not be limited by nighttime hours or cloud cover. And — unlike 23 percent of current incoming solar energy — it wouldn’t be absorbed by water vapor, dust and ozone before reaching us. Finally, because space solar is constant, it wouldn’t need to be stored, which can lead to energy losses of up to 50 percent. In other words, taking our solar panels from the ground to the cosmos could be a great deal more efficient. It may also be key to humanity’s survival.
“In countries right now where they’re trying to deal with poverty, water scarcity, poor health, lack of education and political instability — these are all things you need energy in order to fight,” Paul Jaffe, PhD, spacecraft engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, said in a recent TakeApart story. Or, as John C. Mankins, founder of Mankins Space Technology and author of “The Case for Space Based Solar,” told Salon, “In the long run, renewable large-scale energy sources such as space solar power are essential to sustaining industrial civilization, and the long and increasingly high quality of lives that we enjoy.”
Read more at Salon
US Electric Cars Sales Up 44% In November — 1.1% Of US Car Sales!
The top 5 electric car models continue to dominate US electric car sales … for now.
The Chevy Bolt hitting the market is sure to shake things up a bit, particularly as production ramps up and GM offers the car beyond California and Oregon.
However, for now, it’s the top 5 players — Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, Tesla Model X, and Nissan LEAF — dominating the market. They accounted for 73% of US electric car sales in November*.
Notably, I think this is also the first time that US electric car sales surpassed 1% of total US car sales — a milestone that may seem small on the surface but is often seen as a tipping point in the evolution of a disruptive technology.
Read more at CleanTechnica
Electric Cars May Take an OPEC-Sized Bite From Oil Use
A boom in electric vehicles made by the likes of Tesla Motors Inc. could erode as much as 10 percent of global gasoline demand by 2035, according to the oil industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.
While battery-powered cars and trucks today represent less than 1 percent of total vehicle sales, they are expected to take off after 2025 as governments move to tackle pollution and costs fall, the Houston-based analyst said. By 2035 so-called EVs may remove 1 million to 2 million barrels a day of oil demand from the market — in the range of the production cut OPEC and its allies agreed this week in order to end a three-year crude surplus.
“Anything that reduces the demand for transportation has an impact on the oil market,” Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and oils markets at Wood Mackenzie, said in an interview in London. “The question is how big is it going to be and what’s the time frame.”
Read more at Bloomberg
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.