The impacts of the Neo-Carbon Energy project and future energy system is analysed through four transformative scenarios for 2050:
Radical Startups. Economy is driven by a multitude of small-scale startups known for their “radical” values and approaches. Environmental problems are solved commercially. Businesses are drivers of new, ecologically oriented lifestyles. Peer-to-peer approaches take place within startups and their networks; citizens’ lives revolve around startup communities.
Value-Driven Techemoths. Peer-to-peer approaches take place within global technology giants called “techemoths”. Techemoths provide solutions for environmental issues and are developers of cutting-edge energy technologies. Techemoths provide amenities from housing to leisure activities. Markets take care of environmental issues.
Green DIY Engineers. The world has faced an ecological collapse. Engineer-oriented citizens have organized themselves as local communities to survive, producing their own energy, technologies and resources. Environmental problems are solved locally, with a practical mindset.
New Consciousness. Threat of an ecological collapse and ubiquitous information & communication technologies have led to a new kind of consciousness. Human beings are deeply intertwined with nature and with each other. They do not conceive themselves as separate individuals but form a “global brain”. The world is connected by a global super-grid. Environmental problems are not seen as practical issues, but calling for deeper changes in values and mindsets.
Neo-Carbon Energy has impact on several sectors:
Design of a feasible renewable energy system with variable electricity production and energy storages
At the moment, no technical design exists for a renewable energy system. Hence, neither do business opportunities for such a system and storage. The point of Neo-Carbon Energy is to propose designs for the future energy system and identify business opportunities in it.
Industry: new technologies for large-scale energy storage, transportation, heating, cooling and chemical industry
The point is to design, produce and deploy new technological products that the future digital energy internet will need.
Business: a new industrial cluster serving the new energy world’s needs, business cases through pilots
When the renewable energy system is ready, it will give birth to new business opportunities to those who are willing to take it on.
Politics: new legislative frameworks, changes in geoeconomical power relations
New legislation is needed that will allow the progress of such future energy sysytem. A renewable energy system will bring about changes in geoeconomical power relations. This is because renewable energy system is independent, which can globally reduce negative dependencies between countries and regions.
Consumers: production distributed to ’prosumers’, energy will be democratised
Renewable energy system gives power to the people. Production becomes spread all over when small energy production units can be owned by anyone. Anyone can start an energy company in the internet of energy.
Energy transformation: the current form of energy business will die and energy companies need to reinvent themselves in the internet of energy
In a renewable energy system where people can be prosumers with a distributed production, the current energy companies are no longer needed. They will die or have to reinvent themselves to survive. Further, the current form energy market will be broken down. It has not been designed for a zero marginal cost renewable energy.
Digitalisation: the future energy system forms an internet of energy (IoE)
A renewable energy system needs an energy cloud to function. Distributed production, consumption and storages are part of an energy cloud – part of internet of everything. Future’s energy security is about cyber security.