Seven Game Changers for Our Energy Future

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter argues that if we are serious about stepping it up in terms of accelerating the energy transition, we need to be smart at allocating capital to core technologies creating this possibility in the first place. The chapter discusses seven levers or game changers to back with capital. (1) Storage is essential to unlock the usefulness of intermittent sources of energy, but needs to accelerate its progress in terms of performance and price. (2) Solar is a “staple crop” of the energy transition, but with the best commercial silicon module reaching efficiencies just above 20 %, needs to deploy other more efficient technologies at scale. (3) Energy efficiency may be less “sexy” but easier to implement. (4) E-mobility is essential, but needs to scale so that it becomes more than entertainment. (5) A massive renewable infrastructure buildup will be needed, such as Electric Vehicle charging stations. (6) The digital revolution is essential to smart production, transmission and use of energy, but it would be a mistake to forget to invest in hardware next to software. (7) Finally, unconventional energy technologies are harder to evaluate, but may hold interesting contributions in store, such as low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR). Across all levers, a combination of investing in innovations with game changing potential and creating programs that can fast track their market entry is needed. Throughout, the chapter covers examples of technologies with breakthrough potential such as multi-junction, thin-film solar, and next-generation solar cells, or hydrogen on demand, and many others.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GenevaSwitzerland

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