The Energy industry will make 2 trillion over the next 40 years. In this seminal book, technology strategy guru and visionary Tony Seba reveals market opportunities worth at least trillion of that vast market by 2050.
The clean-energy revolution is not in the future. It has already begun. Just as the PC revolution transformed computing while creating a new information-based economy, the clean energy leaders will turn the energy world upside down, creating a new energy economy while creating untold wealth for the entrepreneurs, investors, and countries who win the race. ‘Solar Trillions’ shows why solar is the only clean energy source that can scale to meet global needs— and explores the disruptive characteristics that make solar technology inevitable.
Here are the seven amazing opportunities he explores—and some equally amazing facts about energy.
Opportunity 1: Utility-Scale Solar: .0 trillion
– To provide all of America’s electricity today, solar power would need a single 100-by-100-mile square of desert. This is less than 10% of the land that the oil & gas industry uses in America today.
– Most of the solar power will come not from photovoltaics but from Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), which collects the sun’s heat with precisely focused mirrors and uses it to run turbines.
– A European consortium is raising half a trillion dollars to develop CSP plants in the Sahara that will power both Europe and Africa. much of the continent.
Opportunity 2: Industrial-Scale Solar: .1 trillion
– Data centers are the aluminum smelters of the information age. Data-center energy consumption is expected to reach 0 billion per year by 2020.
– A CSP plant built in Spain will have 15 hours of energy storage. 24/7 solar power is here—and can reliably run those data centers as well as many factories.
– The cost of solar will drop to 3-5 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020—cheaper than subsidized coal.
Opportunity 3. Island/Village-Scale Solar: .6 trillion
– Hawaii pays up to four times the electricity rates on the US mainland—and more than twice the going rate for photovoltaic (PV). Sunny islands around the world regularly go dark because they can’t pay their diesel-fuel bills.
– Half a billion people in 500,000 villages in India alone are not connected to the grid. Two billion people around the world get their energy from kerosene or diesel at rates up to 10 times today’s PV cost. But solar PV doesn’t need a grid.
Opportunity 4: Home/Commercial Scale Solar: .7 trillion
– There are more than five million commercial buildings in America. These buildings receive solar energy greater than the energy they consume.
– With building-integrated PV, solar will be part of the fabric of office towers, stores, and homes: photovoltaic walls, windows, roofs, and bricks. Soon, buildings won’t just sit there; they will make money for their owners, selling that energy back to the grid.
Opportunity 5: Solar Clean Water: .5 trillion
– We will hit peak water before we hit peak oil. The aquifer that supplies water for a third of America’s food supply may dry up within two decades.
– Solar energy on 1 square kilometer (less than half a square mile) of desert land is sufficient to desalinate 165,000 cubic meters of water a day—with zero carbon pollution.
Opportunity 6: Energy Storage: .0 trillion
– Up to 30% of power produced by coal and nuclear plants (and wind plants too) is wasted because they can’t store the energy they produce during off hours.
– Solar thermal (CSP) is the only generating technology that can store energy in cheap, environmentally safe batteries.
– You can “fill up” a battery electric car for about today. BEVs are 4 times more energy efficient than gasoline cars.
Opportunity 7: The Smart Grid: .5 trillion
– Our grid is falling apart. We have to replace the worn-out, obsolete grid with a computeri