16 more years and fossil fuel use could be obsolete. Do you think it’s possible for us to no longer power our utilities and automobiles using fossil fuels in that short a timeline? Stanford University’s Tony Seba thinks it’s not only possible but that it will happen even earlier than 2030.
Over at RenewEconomy, Giles Parkinson writes about a new book by Seba titled Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation that discusses how the existing energy business model encompassing fossil fuels will be replaced by abundant and cheap renewables. Oil, natural gas, and coal will go the way of the dodo and distributed (personal) power plants will take over much of the work to power our lives.
“Clean energy (solar and wind) is free,” Seba writes in his book. “Clean transportation is electric and uses clean energy derived from the sun and wind. The key to the disruption of energy lies in the exponential cost and performance improvement of technologies that convert, manage, store, and share clean energy. The clean disruption is also about software and business model innovation.”
When citizens can start making their own energy to power their homes, their cars, and their lifestyles, there really isn’t much need for enormous corporate utility companies generating power the old way – through polluting fossil fuels. Once a homeowner puts solar panels on their roof, why do they need to buy energy from anyone if it’s coming from the sun for free? As for our cars, electric is the way of the future, as demonstrated by Tesla’s success.
“Every time you press the gas pedal in your car, you give cash to the oil industry. Substituting natural gas or ethanol for gasoline doesn’t change the business model. Every time you press the gas pedal you still burn fuel and give cash to the energy industry,” says Seba.
Most will call the idea of being fossil fuel free by 2030 a pipe dream, and I kind of think it’s being overly optimistic myself. But I sure would love to see it happen.
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