Alternative thinking 2013
Renewable energy under the microscope
The objective of this report is to identify for developers, investors and policy-makers a few of the more important current trends and opportunities in renewable energy, point out where significant barriers to progress lie, and suggest strategies for dealing with them.
Noted economist and author Jeremy Rifkin says we are entering a Third Industrial Revolution, characterised, like the two industrial revolutions that preceded it, by the effective convergence of the breakthrough energy and communications technologies of the day.
In the First Industrial Revolution, it was the union of steam power and the printing press; in the Second Industrial Revolution, it was the internal combustion engine and "electrical communication". In the Third Industrial Revolution, it will be renewable energies and the Internet. In all cases, "every aspect of the way we work and live" is understood to be fundamentally changed, mostly for the better.
But what will it take to make this happen a third time? Unlike the transition into the Second Industrial Revolution, which seems to have occured with little resistance from the primary benefactors of the First, this latest transition is shaping up to require much more deliberate planning and action.