August 28, 2016

EXPONENTIALS 101: ENERGY by Ramez Naam

Disruption of the $6 trillion energy industry

1. Wind
2. Solar
3. Energy Storage
4. After oil
5. Take Action

Ten times more wind in the last 11 years
Exponential decline in wind power cost
1980 55 cents per kwh
2013 2.3 cents per kwh

Double the wind turbine blade length then you quadruple the wind power

Best sites now have 50% capacity factor
In the future it is going to 60% capacity factor

New algorithms can increase the amount of wind that can be used in the grid

Altaeros Energy has tethered wind power

Altaeros’ mission is to deliver the next generation of infrastructure to rural and isolated communities. We combine proven technology with flight control innovations that enable cost effective autonomous deployment of tethered airborne platforms. At heights above 200m a wide range of applications become attractive. These include power generation, telecommunications, and technology enabled agricultural services. Leveraging its patented technology, Altaeros has eliminated the need for manpower to constantly monitor and control stationary airborne platforms. We provide a cost effective, reliable and environmentally friendly solution for any application that benefits from a durable, stationary mid-elevation platform.





Solar Power is becoming cheaper now than other energy

Unsubsidized solar at 6 cents per kwh, Large gigawatt solar farms in China and India

There is subsidized solar in the US at 3.6 cents per kwh

Dubai had 800MW solar unsubsidized at 2.99 cents per kwh
Chile solarpack at 2.91 cents per kwh unsubsidized



3. Energy Storage

Energy storage has tripled for weight in lithium batteries over last 15 years
Cost has declined by 10 times

$250 / kwh utility scale battery for tesla

Trina solar has shipping container size batteries

Battery price decline 5 times in 5 years not the analyst predictions of 3 times

Flow batteries last for 10,000 charge cycles

Even IEA says the solar will be the cheapest energy by mid century

4. After oil

60% CAGR for electric cars

Bet on the innovators and not the forecasters

Electric vehicles will be the cheapest to buy and own
It has 90% fewer moving parts than oil cars

Telsa model 3 will be cheaper than the two seat smart car by around 2030

Uberization and automation

5. Take Action

Talks about climate change and global warming

Solar city was a finance company to bridge the gap between value for customer

Naam is invested in Spark ( a solar city for efficiency)

Bio of Ramez Naam

Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. He’s a computer scientist, futurist, and award-winning author.

Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams developing early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and the Bing search engine. His career has focused on bringing advanced collaboration, communication, and information retrieval capabilities to roughly one billion people around the world, and took him to the role of Partner and Director of Program Management within Microsoft, with deep experience leading teams working on cutting edge technologies such as machine learning, search, massive scale services, and artificial intelligence.

Between stints at Microsoft, Ramez founded and ran Apex NanoTechnologies, the world’s first company devoted entirely to software tools to accelerate molecular design. He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Ramez is also the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of four books:

The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet (non-fiction), which looks at the environmental and natural resource challenges of climate change, energy, water, and food, and charts a course to meet those challenges by investing in the scientific and technological innovation needed to overcome them, and by changing our policies to encourage both conservation and critical innovations.

Nexus and Crux (fiction). These philosophical science fiction thrillers look at the impact of an increasingly plausible technology that could link human minds, and the impact such a technology could have on society and on the human condition, for both good and ill. Along the way, issues of civil liberties, surveillance, Buddhist conceptions of mind, and responsibilities of scientists to society are explored. Nexus has been optioned for a film by Paramount pictures and director Darren Aronofsky (The Black Swan).

More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (non-fiction), which looks at the science of enhancing the human mind, body, and lifespan, and the effects that will have on society.

Ramez lectures on energy, environment, and innovation at Singularity University, where he serves as Adjunct Faculty. He’s spoken to audiences on four continents, from Illinois to Istanbul and from corporate boardrooms to Harvard University. He’s appeared on Sunday morning MSNBC, repeatedly on Yahoo! Finance, on China Cable Television, on BigThink, and Reuters.fm. His work has appeared in, or been reviewed by, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Business Week, Business Insider, Discover, Popular Science, Wired, and Scientific American. He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois.

In his leisure, Ramez has climbed mountains, descended into icy crevasses, chased sharks through their native domain, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.

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