The Upcoming Disruption by Energy Tech

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The Upcoming Disruption by Energy Tech

Post by Anianna » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:33 am

Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” ~Book of Eli


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Re: The Upcoming Disruption by Energy Tech

Post by TacAir » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:16 am

I don't have the bandwidth to waste watching a nearly hour long presentation.

Not to harsh on the OP - but a summary or synopsis of the video would be nice for this or any other long video posted..

So - I watched the video for about 10 min. Time well spent, BTW - if you have the B/W it is worth your time to watch. A well done presentation, it looks at case studies of bleeding edge/falling edge technology and the impact on business and to some extent the culture as new tech arrives.

The examples i saw were - how autos displaced horses in east coast cities in less than 13 years. Another case study is how AT&T missed the boat on cell phone technology.

What the presenter seems to have missed, completely, is that adaptation of most any new tech is dependent on economy of scale. That is to say, once the tech is cheap enough, everyone can (and likely will) buy into the new tech. But not everyone will buy into the tech. IE Universal adaption is not certain - I know folks who still use a rotary dial phone set....and avoid paying the $3/month tariff for DTMF service.

I just sold my smart phones back to AT&T (my carrier) because I just want phone device, not a PC in my pocket. The 4G data service - required to use a smart phone - almost doubled my bill. A bill which is too high already.

The presentation ignored (as far as I viewed) the role and impact of Govt intrusion into the market place - either directly via taxes and regulation or indirectly via the shadow influence of the Gov't via grants, subsidy/tax breaks.

Bottom line - entertaining and informative (as far as it goes), worth the time to watch if you have unlimited B/W for your internet service.
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
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Re: The Upcoming Disruption by Energy Tech

Post by Sun Yeti » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:55 pm

Good presentation. I'm happy to add a summary as requested. His main point is the importance of exponential curves. If something is getting on average X% cheaper per year and that's a pretty reliable trend, you can project with some certainty what it will cost in the future. So, given the cost curves for electric vehicles, in 10 years, all or almost all the new cars sold will be electric. They are already cheaper to fuel (electricity is much cheaper than gas) and cheaper to maintain (18 moving parts for electric car vs. about 2,000 for gas car), but in 10 years they will also cost less upfront that even a low end gas car. So very few people will choose gas cars.

Similar economic curves apply to the technology components of self-driving cars. Also, cars sit idle 96% of the time, so for most people, it will be cheaper to just get a ride-sharing service like Uber to send them a self-driving car when they want one than it would be to own their own car. Most people live in cities though, and a lot of ZS members live in the middle of nowhere. So I would suspect that this helps a lot of you less than it does me (I live on the outskirts of a city). But, in 10 years you will be able to buy a cheap electric vehicle that drives itself.

It's true he's not talking about the effects of government intrusions. I would suspect that oil companies will start fighting back with lobbying etc. in earnest pretty soon. More discussion of that would probably violate the 'no politics' rule though. Similarly, self-driving cars might be better than the average driver in a few years (seems like they drive about as well as a teenage student driver right now), but it might take a number of years more before they are road legal in most places.

The same batteries that are getting 16% cheaper every year (and making electric cars more and more attractive) will soon be economical to use as grid storage or home storage or business storage to smooth out electricity demand and avoid peak pricing. Solar panels are 200 times cheaper than in 1970, and we have 174 times more installed solar capacity as in the year 2000. It only needs to double 7 more times to get to 100% of the world's total energy use (not electricity, all energy!), and he thinks we'll get there by 2030.

Here are my own thoughts on exponential technologies. For years or decades, they go from .0001% to .001% to .01% to .1% to 1% market share, and all that time, pundits and your co-workers laugh about how useless they are; how they are a boondoggle that will never amount to anything. Then they go to 10%, but by the time the general population has even noticed that that has happened, they are already approaching 100%. Then the pundits say 'wow, this is a revolutionary breakthrough that no one could have seen coming!'. And, that's only true if you have no idea how math works, which is sadly true of most people, including most of the forecasters that make predictions on the news.

The presentation is pretty optimistic about how the future is going to cheaper, more convenient, and less polluting, but it is grounded in real data. He might be too optimistic, but the nice thing about predicting exponential growth is, even if you are off by 50% in your present adoption data, that's only an error of a few years worth of growth.

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Re: The Upcoming Disruption by Energy Tech

Post by boskone » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:30 pm

TacAir wrote:I just sold my smart phones back to AT&T (my carrier) because I just want phone device, not a PC in my pocket. The 4G data service - required to use a smart phone - almost doubled my bill. A bill which is too high already.
OT, but did you look at MVNOs? Even voice (and presumably text; I think that's pretty much always free now?) only, they may be cheaper.

I've been looking at StraightTalk ($45/mo, unlimited TTD, data's restricted to 2G or 3G after 5GB, AT&T or Verizon's networks) and Google Fi ($20/mo for talk and text, $10/GB used for data, uses whichever's best of wifi, t-mo, or Sprint), because even if I don't adjust my usage I'd save $15-20/mo with either.

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