What will the future of Energy be like in 30-50 Years? There are higher future energy demands; in the next 30 to 50 years and our global environment will demand more and more energy. There are three driving forces that will make energy more in demand. There is a vast increase in technologically dependency. The emerging technologies (i.e. autonomous vehicles, advanced genomics, mobile) have the potential to change and reshape the surroundings in which we live and work. The extensive use of the Internet whereby people rely extensively to communicate through email, the use of online banking, tools to find information and many more. These are just a few of things that people are so reliant on the internet. It has been estimated that by 2051, the US population is projected to reach the 400 million threshold, and 420 million by 2062. The future of energy is also affected by the supply side of energy, whereby various sources of energy are working together to make fuel in order to satisfy the increasing demands in the next 30 to 50 years. As we noted earlier coal was the dominant source of energy in America, but in recent years the use of coal has decreased drastically, as such in the future will be the second most protrusive source used in the future as energy over the next 30-50 years. This decrease in coal is predominantly due to coal plants becoming older and obsolete. As a result, the closing of these coal plants mean that there will be less coal being produced. The closing of old plants does not necessary induce for new coal plants to be built. It is estimated that coal with drop by 30% of the nation’s energy in the year 2064. Another agent of energy change is the increase of renewable energy. Solar and wind are two examples. It is vital that both government and businesses are knowledgeable on the upcoming new technologies so that they can begin implementing strategies and start preparing for its impact. In recent years there have been numerous disruptive technologies introduced into the public sector. Natural Gas will be considered the primary source of energy. The growth of natural gas will be the biggest change. Natural gas is considered to be in abundance and cheap. Currently, 25% of natural gas accounts for the production of electricity, and the majority of homes are being heated by natural gas. Due to the high gas demand, low cost, and the abundance of it, natural gas will be the driving factor of utilization in the future. In the year 2040, natural gas is estimated to make up 35% of US energy production, resulting in being the driver source of energy surpassing coal consumption. It is apparent that the advancement will forever revolutionize the lives of many people, businesses and especially the overall economy. Energy transformation is being driven by five global megatrends interacting with and amplified by a set of shifts taking place within the power sector. The five megatrends-technological breakthroughs; climate change and resource scarcity; demographic and social change; a shift in global economic power and rapid urbanization – are challenges for businesses. Is the Energy sector ready to revitalize its business model to sustain current and future disruptive innovations? In the near future, society will be forced to find new ways and will be required to research and develop alternative energy sources. If no action will be taken in coming up with new ways to generate energy there will be an energy crisis in this century. Breakthroughs and advances have been made in the technology sector of renewable energy. Energy companies are addressing the growing demand of having to provide new products and services by making strides in how energy sources are extracted, created and used. Renewable energy technologies are being utilized such as solar wind and hydro power, which are more efficient for meeting today’s growing energy demands. According to Forbes “The development of energy storage technology is going to be one of the defining features of the 21st century’s energy landscape”. Energy storage technologies allow you to get the most out of renewable energy resources such as wind, which produces more power than it is needed at night where much goes to waste. They can use this wasted energy to heat homes and offices. One of the future sources of energy storage as we said is batteries. Batteries are an integral part of an electric vehicle. This energy storage technology, i.e. “zombie” batteries are being used in the existing electronic vehicle. As the demand increases and the number of electronic vehicles are increasing in purchases, charging stations are being set up in various places. It has been estimated that a lithium ion battery could last from 5 to 20 years and still retain 80% of its charge. The lithium ion battery afterlife can be utilized in homes.
Various countries utilize solar power, wind power and water power as their renewable energy. It is estimated that in the future renewable energy sources will be a thing of the past. Korea is planning to invest $36 Billion in renewable energy by year 2020. They are planning to use this money to develop renewable energy industries, such as solar and wind power and eco-friendly power plants by year 2020. It is estimated that power plants will generate 13 million kilowatts of electricity manually which is an equivalent of 26 coal plants. In addition, 4.5 trillion is to be invested in energy storage and 2 trillion in eco-friendly power plants. Another advantage to this investment of building plants and investing in renewable energy will result in an increase of 30,000 jobs by 2020. The Netherlands has built a high-tech Dutch solar bike path. This high-tech solar bike path is called “SolaRoad”, whereby one of the two lanes has solar panels which serves as the feeder of energy back to the grid. The solar panels are designed to be able to generate enough electricity to power homes. After a year of testing it was concluded that the solar panels generated enough energy to power a home for a year just from operating for only six months. There is still more work to be done with improving these solar panels; an issue occurred whereby a portion of the panels peeled off and the path had to be closed off. Japan has entered the solar panel by placing them on their rooftop. Japan has begun work on what will be the biggest floating solar farm. This solar farm is being built on a reservoir. This is estimated to supply energy to approximately 5,000 households when it is completed in 2018. China, Brazil, Egypt and India are also countries which have joined in putting solar panels on their rooftop. The government is encouraging Tokyo builders to make buildings more energy-efficient with solar panels in addition to having form of storage and other devices such as fuel cells. California installed solar panels which resulted in an excess of solar energy. California is considered the leader in the production of solar energy.