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The energy and transportation revolution


Many estimates vastly understate the advent of solar. Photo: Fairfax

An article by Angela Macdonald-Smith which appeared in The Age on 24 May 2016 [1] reported on a startling thesis by Tony Seba of Stanford University, to the effect that within just fifteen years conventional energy production and transport will have been rendered obsolete by the revolution taking place in batteries, solar power and electric cars.

“There is no excuse .. to be unaware of what’s coming” he says — a world with little centralised power generation, 100 percent electric vehicles and minimal private car ownership. ” It’s the end of energy and transportation as we know it, and it’s coming very quickly” Mr Seba said at the start of a week of investor meetings in Australia. ” It’s going to be over by 2030; it has started already.” Mr Seba’s thesis is based on the

transformation being wrought by four technologies: solar power, battery storage, electric vehicles and self- driving cars. The change will be as rapid and as unforeseen as the switch from horse-drawn carriages to cars in the early 20th century.

Solar power costs have dropped from $US100 to US45¢ per kWh since 1970, a period when other forms of energy have surged in price 16-fold. Mr Seba predicts that by 2025 all new cars will be electric, with fuel cars rapidly wiped out as the self-driving car revolution disrupts transport and pushes the world towards mobility-on-demand transport.

Source: The Age, 24 May 2016


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