After the energy revolution – a peek into the world and energy system of the 2040s

As I have stated several times: the future of energy production globally is in non-combustion-based clean renewable energy, especially wind and solar power. They are the cheapest, most logical, most profitable, easiest and cleanest ways to generate electricity. Wind power and solar power are available all over the world and can be stored as energy by producing hydrogen, which is burned when there is no wind or sun. In different parts of the world, electricity production is adapted to local conditions, and to the forces of nature prevailing there. In Norway, especially small hydropower is logical, in Africa solar power, here and in Denmark wind power. In Japan, a marine turbine of about 20 meters has just been developed to be placed in the sea current, of which only 4 are needed to produce more electricity than the world's largest nuclear power plant. The potential of renewable energy is enormous: last summer, 20% of the electricity in the Netherlands, with a population of 17 million, was produced by solar power alone. In Finland, on the windiest days of last fall, the share of wind power jumped to 40%. LUT and 14 other universities published a study in 2022, according to which all energy can be produced from renewable sources in the 2040s.

The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation published an interesting article about what it would be like in Finland after the energy revolution twenty years from now. Particular attention was paid to a society based on wind and solar power, storing energy in hydrogen and heat, for example in underground lakes and water-filled caves, electricity and hydrogen-based transport, the importance of energy saving, for example through smart technology, and community spirit, including sharing and, for example, electric cars shared by a housing association. Fully electric road transport is important not only for the climate but also for air cleanliness. Globally, 7 million people die each year from air pollution. Airplanes and ships will probably run on pure hydrogen in the future.

Energy saving is estimated to account for about half of the need for future emission reductions. This is achieved by developing better technology that consumes less. LED lights etc. are great examples of this. Industry needs new innovations that increase energy efficiency. Reducing consumption is very important. With an intelligent electrical system, electricity can be transferred to where it is needed, for example to adjust the temperature of the room air and the amount of lighting. Likewise, an intelligent almost entirely computer-controlled traffic system with robot buses would be genius. Although the future will have a lot of robots and smart technology, organic food, cycling and other organic things will not disappear, but on the contrary, they will increase. Hardly many people would want to live in the technosphere. Organic food, local food, block gardens, cycling from one place to another, local parks, green roofs, insect hotels... The society of the future is a combination of cutting-edge technology and a return to our roots.

The UN and the EU do not see nuclear power playing any role in the future energy palette. Its share in the work against climate change is minimal. Even if nuclear power's share of global energy production were to double to 5%, it would be very insignificant and then all uranium ore reserves would be lost in 10 years. The environmental effects of uranium mines are considerable, they cause people to get sick, die, water shortages, huge amounts of hazardous waste and destroy entire ecosystems. In the Global South, the problems are accentuated and are considerable. Our economy in Western countries cannot be based on modern colonialism and the destruction of poor people's habitats. There is no need for nuclear power in the Agenda 2030 goals, and the UN and the EU do not want to promote it. Nuclear power is not only dangerous and unethical but also pointless. There is no need for small nuclear power plants at all, although some are lobbying for them. Small nuclear power is not needed for heat production. Heat can be stored in underground water-filled caves and hydrogen, and heat can be produced by burning hydrogen, which emits only water vapor as a completely harmless emission.

Our entire economy is based especially on energy, and if we want sustainable economic growth, the entire energy production must be based on clean renewable energy. Otherwise, the limits of the world will come against you. One of the best things about renewable energy is that it is available without limits.

Daniel Elkama

Article by the Finnish Nature Conservation Union (in Finnish):

Research by LUT and 14 universities:


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