SingularityU Sydney Summit - Exponential Energy

Speaker - Ramez Namm

The world is bumping up against multiple environmental and natural resource hurdles: climate change, peak oil, fresh water shortages, and rising prices for food, minerals, and commodities of all sorts. At the same time, a growing population and a surge in the wealth of the developing world is increasing consumption. Can innovation keep pace? What are the true limits to growth? How do we overcome the challenges that face us? This session will provide an overview of the key natural resource and environmental challenges that face us, the on-the-horizon innovations that hold the promise to overcome them, and the policies that would best encourage innovation in those critical fields. The true limits to economic and natural resource growth on Planet Earth will be presented and discussed.

Energy is a moral issue.

Last five years are the warmest in modern history.

Coal industry is being disrupted. Many coal companies are going bankrupt. Due to plunging cost of clean energy. Cost of setting up wind power (wind farms) has dropped radically in the last 40 years. Cost of solar power has dropped by a factor of 350. From $77 per kw in 1977 to 22c per kw on 2019. Solar has grown by a factor of 30 in the last 10 years. Future price is 1c per KW and this will cause massive levels of disruption.

Huge opportunity to combine farming food and energy. Solar panels can be useful sitting over pastures. Creates shade for animals and greater moisture for growth.

Lithium Ion Battery prices are dropping

The three phases of clean energy
  • Policy dependant: Clean energy too expensive
  • Competitive: Clean energy cheaper for new energy
  • Disruptive: Clean energy cheaper than existing power
Coal will plateau for a few years and then it will crash. Coal is 20% of Australian export so Australian needs to plan for this.

What happened to coal is going to happening to oil as well.

The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil. - Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamant

Electric Vehicle Projections thought 1 million EVs on US roads by 2040. There are nearly that many at the end of 2019. By mid 2020s EVs should be cheaper than petrol cars.

The future won’t be about car ownership. It will be about shared autonomous vehicles. Half the cost of an Uber or Lyft is the driver.

Google Waymo One
GM Cruise

We will hail autonomous cars by an Uber like app.

Four tips to prepare oursekves (as a country)
  1. Cover your behind
  2. Energise your economy
  3. Own your own energy
  4. Solve the unsolved problems
Unsolved Problems and Opportunities
  • How could Australia provide solar powers to countries with less sun??
  • How do we solve long range aviation?


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