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Title: The Electrification of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Opportunities

Abstract

Here, 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 uni-directionally, traded at near-static prices, and consumed under direct human control; to a grid in which electricity is transported bi-directionally, traded at dynamic prices, and consumed under human-tailored agential control. Early acceptance and appreciation of these trends will accelerate their remaking of humanity’s energy landscape into one in which energy is much more affordable, abundant and efficiently deployed than it is today; with major economic, geo-political, and environmental benefits to human society.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)
  3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1429681
Report Number(s):
SAND-2017-12043J
658495
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Resource Type:
Program Document
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Tsao, Jeffrey Y., Fouquet, Roger, and Schubert, E. Fred. The Electrification of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Opportunities. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Tsao, Jeffrey Y., Fouquet, Roger, & Schubert, E. Fred. The Electrification of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Opportunities. United States.
Tsao, Jeffrey Y., Fouquet, Roger, and Schubert, E. Fred. Wed . "The Electrification of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Opportunities". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1429681,
title = {The Electrification of Energy: Long-Term Trends and Opportunities},
author = {Tsao, Jeffrey Y. and Fouquet, Roger and Schubert, E. Fred},
abstractNote = {Here, 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 uni-directionally, traded at near-static prices, and consumed under direct human control; to a grid in which electricity is transported bi-directionally, traded at dynamic prices, and consumed under human-tailored agential control. Early acceptance and appreciation of these trends will accelerate their remaking of humanity’s energy landscape into one in which energy is much more affordable, abundant and efficiently deployed than it is today; with major economic, geo-political, and environmental benefits to human society.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Nov 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Program Document:
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