Energy Technology Revolution

     The combination of global warming, global overcrowding and resource depletion will be the most powerful forces driving our society and economy during the next century.  Energy resources are expensive and non-renewable sources such as petroleum products have a finite natural life.

Our planet has taken hundreds of millions of years to form.  However, according to many experts, human kind has consumed approximately half of worldwide global oil reserves in 125 years.  The world is consuming 85 million barrels of oil per day and demand is growing exponentially.    By burning fossil fuels and removing forests, we are releasing greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide  into the atmosphere. CO2 are heat-trapping gases that are warming the planet.

Oil production has peaked in the majority of oil rich countries.  Many distinguished geologists, energy analysts, oil industry experts, and organizations have acknowledged that decline in global oil production threatens our industrial civilization.

Climatologists have been warning about the problems about global climate changes such as global warming and radically altered rainfall patterns.  These radical global shifts will rapidly transform the lives of all humans, animals and radically alter the global environment.

Our ability to manage these dramatic changes will determine the stability, diversity and prosperity of our society over the next several generations.  The rapid changes in climate will cause countless species of plants and animals to become extinct.  It will be a major challenge for our civilization to attempt to retain bio-diversity and preserve species worldwide.

Very few understand the complex scope of our energy crisis, but it undoubtedly has far reaching implications.  Countries are competing over the remaining oil and gas reserves.  Some experts believe that in the absence of hydrocarbons, the earth has the capacity to produce food to sustain a global population of 2.5 billion.  However, the current world population already exceeds 6 billion and growing.  The U.N. has projected world population to reach 7.3 billion by 2050.

Enormous amounts of oil and gas are used as raw materials and energy in the manufacture of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and as energy throughout the food production process.  Fossil fuels are essential for the construction and maintenance of equipment and infrastructure needed to manage agriculture, including farm machinery, processing facilities, storage, ships, trucks and roads.

The problems of balancing energy and resource supply and demand, loss of biodiversity, climate change and depletion of our current energy resources have created the urgent need for a technology energy revolution.    Because an increasing proportion of international economies is devoted toward energy solutions, our civilization is witnessing powerful global competition for dwindling resources and a major redistribution of global wealth.

Renewable Energy
A strategic energy initiative is to develop electricity from renewable sources that are cheaper than electricity produced from coal.  In the short term, the mission is to create renewable energy less expensive than coal by focusing on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, and enhanced geothermal systems.  Today’s embryonic models will become future breakthrough technologies for renewable energy.

The basic technology for renewable energy sources, including that required to convert solar energy into heat and electricity has existed for many years. Solar electricity is produced by means of photovoltaic arrays or conventional heat engines in which solar energy is used to operate a turbine. Solar heat is quite simple, requiring only a black surface and a mechanism for storing and transferring heat.

Underlying renewable energy technology has been well established and forms such as wind electricity are as efficient as fossil fuels.  Global expenditures on energy generation represent a considerable percentage of international economic activity particularly when the consumption of electrical, mechanical or heat energy in the production and delivery of products or services is included. 

Worldwide energy consumption per capita will increase as developing countries industrialize.  Competition for fossil fuels is increasing as more countries modernize.  In short, although world population growth and modernization increase demand for energy, the available supply increases at lesser rates.
Although the computing industry has matured, there are increasing opportunities for American green energy technology industries. There are several areas where greater entrepreneurial efforts in green energy technology will be financially well rewarded. 

For example, materials science plays an important role in renewable energy such as  photovoltaic arrays and microprocessors.  Reduction in the cost of personal energy production systems is an important objective of energy technology.  Also, reducing design and installation costs of personal energy production systems is essential for green energy to achieve rapid growth in the marketplace.

Creative entrepreneurs use technology to solve problems.  The substantial financial and human capital in the information technology industry may be shifted into the development and marketing of green energy technology.  At the same time, renewable energy technology may offer benefits for computer technology. 
The free exchange of ideas and collaboration in the IT industry, such as the open source movement, should be carried over to the green energy movement.  Engineering teams should recognize that major change is necessary to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. 

Obsolete computer fabrication facilities may be retooled to produce substantial quantities of clean energy components such as photovoltaic cells, thereby extending the useful life of the facilities and improving investment return.

Because energy is a vital commodity in our society, future demand for energy should be reasonably constant and predictable.  People will continue to use appliances, automobiles, and climate-controlled homes and these devices will need efficient power sources worldwide. 

American business will capitalize on green energy opportunities by inventing new energy technologies and improving existing technologies and making them more efficient. Green technology engineers will focus on practical incremental improvements and innovations.

The future energy economy will be based far less on combustion energy and more on the direct utilization of energy from wind, the sun, and the earth (e.g. biomass and geothermal sources).Summary

In order to solve the foundational societal problems described above, there is a critical need for an energy technology revolution.  We should employ our vast human resources, scientific research initiatives and business acumen to solve these global problems.  We will need a smart energy grid starting from smart homes, automobiles and all human devices.  The green revolution will be advanced through serious financial and research commitment toward green industry. 

Our western civilization has the opportunity to apply our ingenuity and intellectual and business resources in the creation of economically and environmentally viable solutions to these worldwide problems.  The U.S. should be at the forefront of developing viable green energy solutions which could be offered to many other nations that lack energy sophistication and technological capability.  In short, the green technology revolution is the next great economic opportunity after the computer technology revolution.

Home | Our Mission | Newsletters | Resources | About Us | Contact Us

31 Regatta Way, Napa, CA 94559 | (415) 571 8880
Copyright © 2014, Fukuda Law Firm     Disclaimer

Our newsletters do not provide legal advice or opinions. Legal questions may be complicated and experienced counsel
should be consulted in connection with particular cases.  Advice should be given relative to specific facts and conditions.