donderdag 24 mei 2012

We will innovate our way out of recession II

Any technological innovation follows a very specific growth path, the development of global electrical energy consumption being no exception. This growth path can be accurately plotted by taking the global electrical energy consumed over the years and fitting an S-type growth curve on the data [4]. When done, the global electrical energy consumption is presented in the following figure:

Figure 1; the global electrical energy consumed [GW]

Despite the fact that the data has been collected from three different data sources, and thus some unwanted irregularities may be given, an S-curve can be properly fitted [1], [2], [3].

The first key parameter of the fitted S-curve is the year 2030, being the tipping point, when the enhanced consumption growth will stop and the growth of consumption will start to diminish. The second key parameter of the fitted S-curve is the total maximum amount of electrical energy consumed, being 19500 GW, about 3,3 times the amount that is consumed today. Will the planet be able to supply this amount of energy and absorb the related carbon dioxide emissions? Probably not.

Likewise, the production of solar photovoltaic cells will follow a similar growth path, with its own specific key parameters. A representation of the data, being the total global PV power installed, and the fitted S-curve is represented in the following figure [2]:

Figure 2; the global installed PV power [GW]

The first key parameter of the fitted S-curve is the year 2024, where the fitted curve will find its tipping point. The second key parameter of the curve is the maximum amount of PV energie produced, which is about 15000 GW, 2,5 times the electrical energy now consumed. Ironically, the data provided for the total global photovoltaic power installed, was provided by British Petrol, the very same company that decided last winter to exit photovoltaic cell production. Puzzling indeed!

The fascinating and very good news is, that provided both fits are to some extend reliable, the following effects will show:

The astonishing conclusions are:

Photovoltaic electricity production, now being a mere 1 percent of the total electrical energy consumption, will be a significant source of power within only few years from now. PV power will already be sufficiently large to fully supply the total electrical energy consumption in 2024.

Within 12 years from now most fossil AND nuclear fuel fired electrical power stations are becoming obsolete!

The total electricity production will be abundant, relatively cheap and fully sustainable in the very near future. We will soon experience a far cleaner planet.

These effects are market driven, government have rather little influence on these developments.

The global debt crisis, imposed on us by governments relaxing the legal restrictions to allow unsustainable and irresponsible growth of debts and deepened by banks gearing up vast and unsustainable debts will be solved by the installation and deployment of an entirely new industry. Ironically it will not be solved by those responsible, it will be solved by scientists, technicians, engineers, producing industries and their investors, who innovate, design, develop and produce PV cells, the electrical energy storage and the power grid,  and those who invest in this upcoming PV industry.

We will innovate our way out of recession!

Yes, we will!

PS an alternative and promising power storage is being developed, see the inspiring presentation of Donald Sadoway [5]


[2]    BP Statistical Review of World EnergyJune 2011




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