Reading headlines about Donald Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate deal, Middle East heatwaves and the rampaging activities of the Gulf oil powers, you could be forgiven for thinking the world is crashing toward a final oilfuelled armaggedon. But according to renewable energy investment experts, we are actually on the cusp of the greatest energy revolution in history. The cost of renewables like solar and cell batteries for electric vehicles are making the carbon-based economy obsolete, with the turning point only a few years away. Tony Seba, Stanford University professor and energy futurist, sees oil consumption collapsing after 2020 due to disruptive technologies and the fact that renewables are beating the old polluting energies where it matters most: market price. “The age of centralised, command-and-control, extraction-resource-based energy sources (oil, gas, coal and nuclear) will not end because we run out of petroleum, natural gas, coal, or uranium,” he told investment specialists Southbank Research. “It will end because these energy sources, the business models they employ, and the products that sustain them will be disrupted by superior technologies, product architectures and business models. Compelling new technologies such as solar, wind, electric vehicles, and autonomous (self-driving) cars will disrupt and sweep away the energy industry as we know it. For the left and Labour to reap the benefits of these technology revolutions it must embrace the renewable sector, and not make the mistake of focusing purely on distribution, while leaving control of the energy and transport technology to the market. Public ownership of energy utilities can be part of a planned energy revolution in which we collectively reap the benefits of decentralised non-carbon based energy systems and resist the rent-seeking plans of monopoly capital.
Morning Star 21st July 2017 read more »