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The electrification of energy: long-term trends and opportunities

Tsao, Jeffrey Y., Schubert, E. Fred, Fouquet, Roger and Lave, Matthew (2018) The electrification of energy: long-term trends and opportunities. MRS Energy & Sustainability, 5. E7. ISSN 2329-2229

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Identification Number: 10.1557/mre.2018.6

Abstract

We present and analyze three powerful long-term historical trends in the electrification of energy by free-fuel sources. These trends point toward a future in which energy is affordable, abundant, and efficiently deployed; with major economic, geo-political, and environmental benefits to humanity.We present and analyze three powerful long-term historical trends in energy, particularly electrical energy, as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with these trends. The first trend is from a world containing a diversity of energy currencies to one whose predominant currency is electricity, driven by electricity’s transportability, exchangeability, and steadily decreasing cost. The second trend is from electricity generated from a diversity of sources to electricity generated predominantly by free-fuel sources, driven by their steadily decreasing cost and long-term abundance. These trends necessitate a just-emerging third trend: from a grid in which electricity is transported unidirectionally, traded at near-static prices, and consumed under direct human control; to a grid in which electricity is transported bidirectionally, traded at dynamic prices, and consumed under human-tailored artificial agential control. These trends point toward a future in which energy is not costly, scarce, or inefficiently deployed but instead is affordable, abundant, and efficiently deployed; with major economic, geo-political, and environmental benefits to humanity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Materials Research Society
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 16:30
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 13:27
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100205

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