No Disruption, No Exponential Progress

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter argues that mastering the transition to the 80–100 % renewable energy economy is the essential ingredient to putting the global economy on a path to long-term sustainability. Seen that this goal can only be attained by being highly disruptive, the chapter asks what the next steam engines in the digital global age are—the invention, which enabled the Industrial Revolution in the first place. It explains how developments in chemistry, nanotechnology, and materials science hold the key to fast-tracking progress along all energy frontiers: energy generation, storage, transmission and efficiency. Highlighting breakthroughs in the wings, the chapter covers the potential of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR). Further, it discusses how the structure of the energy landscape in an economic region sets the framework conditions on what’s possible, looking at the example of the EU. Research for all chapters in Part III includes a nine-month global search for clean energy game changers in 2014–2015, which considered over 9000 startups and projects, plus follow-on work.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GenevaSwitzerland

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