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Energy Singularity: From Scarcity to Abundance

Author

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  • Jose Luis Cordeiro

    () (Singularity University in Silicon Valley (California, USA))

Abstract

The ability to extract and use energy played a decisive role in the development of human civilization. Energy consumption is growing exponentially, thus the only way to avoid future energy crisis is to explore renewable, more abundant sources. It is known that some technology fields, particularly information and communication technologies, develop according to the “accelerating acceleration” principle. This paper analyzes the applicability of this pattern to energy production and consumption. It assumes that the development of advanced storage technologies and “smart” power distribution will lead to the creation of “global energy network” (Enernet). With the Enernet, energy and power will become abundant and basically free, just like information and bandwidth are today thanks to the Internet. This creates the prerequisites for coming “energy singularity” (“energularity”), which could happen in the next century – in result the humanity will gain full control over all energy available on the planet, and will reach a new level of development (type I according to the Kardashev scale). “Energularity” is similar in some ways to the concepts of the “technological singularity” (intelligence explosion) and “methuselarity” (annual longevity extension for more than one year). Achieving “energularity” seems fundamental to improving the global quality of life and to exploring the universe. Note: Downloadable document is in Russian.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Luis Cordeiro, 2013. "Energy Singularity: From Scarcity to Abundance," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 72-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:7:y:2013:i:1:p:72-80
    as

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    File URL: https://foresight-journal.hse.ru/data/2014/05/15/1321458546/2013-1-6-Cordeiro-72-80.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
    2. Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti, 2005. "Government Policies Supporting Open Source Software for the Mass Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(2), pages 217-240, December.
    3. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    4. Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Comingled Code: Open Source and Economic Development," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262014632, January.
    5. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 2003. "Public Subsidies for Open Source? Some Economic Policy Issues of the Software Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 3793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy sector; alternative energy sources; singularity; development of civilization; Kardashev scale;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other

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