About the trends of the future

Will the Desertec-project take place and provide both Europe and North Africa with cheap and environment friendly electricity? Are we gonna switch to the hydrogen economy and drive all our private driving with fuel cells? Is there gonna be any private car ownership? When do we take the giant leap to fusion energy and can forget about energy efficiency once more, like it was with cheap coal and then with cheap oil? Where is this world heading to??

It might be foolish idea to try to see into the future. Still in practically every corporation from a small to a big one, people try to do it. Of course it is interesting to be able to guess, what kind of preferences the people on average will have. On a special branch of the markets after the next 10 years, what do they want or think they want? In which way do they want to hear from what they might want and need?

This might be slightly off topic, but I’m certain it isn’t useless. The whole idea is that you collect as many of the weak signals in the media as you can, in order to see where the development in the branch of your choice is going to. I know, this is not a new idea. I came by it while reading a book about community communications (published 2001). Still it’s in my opinion important thing to understand. According to Hiltunen a news article, a blog post, or a picture is a weak signal IF:

  1. It makes your colleagues laugh.
  2. Your colleagues are strongly against it – no way, never gonna happen!
  3. It rises wondering
  4. No one has ever heard of it
  5. People don’t want to talk more about it inside the organization
At it’s best, a weak signal matches with all of the points 1-5. If none of these match, it’s not a weak signal. (It might be that it is already known phenomena etc.)

So the question is, how can you collect these? One answer can be found through the link. And now, what do you think of the picture? (A cheap joke, I know, but think about it!)

And IF you haven’t already heard of these jewelry of the ideas, please do take a minute or two scrolling these through 😉 They are the 9 not so crazy ideas to combating climate change.

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There is potential – also in solar

Yesterday I was at a gym with a German friend of mine. He’s studying mechanical engineering and business economics, so it was not surprising that after the gym, when we sat down to eat something, the discussion went to energy technologies and their future.

I’m not gonna go through the whole conversation, but the key point was, that even though in Germany “almost every roof” has a solar panel installed, and it is economically wise even in a relatively short time range to install even small devices, not all the people do it. They think, that Photovoltaics (PV) is something, that is still not mature enough. They think that it’s better waiting for the cells to become better and so on. Also a question arises: Why does the government support the industry so much just to get to pay every household an abnormally high price of the electricity? It also makes the overall electricity price to rise. For those confused: If you install a PV panel to your roof in Germany, you will get a fixed price for the electricity you produce to the grid. This price is more than what you pay for your electricity on average. Of course you can also use it yourself, but right now, I guess, it’s economically wise to sell it out.

Well the reason for the question above is: IF there would be no investments made in ( if no-one would buy the) PV, there would be no industry to produce them. The state is assured that PV is a good thing. That’s why they are strongly driving the economy to make it an economical investment for the households to buy a PV panel. This leads to a booming industry, which leads to more money to that industry. More money means also more money to R&D (Research and Development), because a variety of companies are trying to get a firm market position in the early growing markets. This inevitably leads to development.

In real life it means cheaper, more efficient solar panels or other technologies to harness the power of the sun. Also for the regular consumers. This is, as we know, essential for the renewable future of our economy. It helps us when we don’t want to be dependent on the last oil drops, for which you soon have to pay 150 or 200 dollars per barrel.

Member of Parliament, Oras Tynkkynen, shared this one this morning in Twitter. I’m quite certain, you’ll find it interesting! plastics-put-solar-on-the-verge-of-an-energy-revolution

Good news everybody! Finland might still have hope!

I watched a video of my might-to-be-employers seminar in Vaasa. The key thing there was that Finland has finally taken a step forward in the Wind Energy -branch. Now, I mean that there has been a quite nice amount of development and companies working on it, but now the government is also doing it’s utmost to come up with something that works.

In Germany and many other countries in the EU that have been increasing their Wind energy production heavily, the most important element has been the feed-in tariffs. Now they have implemented these also in Finland.

This means, that wind energy producers have been granted with a reasonable price for the electricity that they are making. This means, they now can invest on wind, and make a profit. This means more windmills. This leads to higher amount of competent people how make, install and maintain these devices of the green revolution. This means that they will be installed (and so on) more effectively, in the meaning of lower costs in the future. This means cheaper green electricity for everyone. Good good good!

Is it really so? Is it more expensive to build new technology? Well, let’s take this sad to hear of Olkiluoto 3 -project as an example. Otherwise it would be quite cheap energy production, but… Since the nuclear reactor type that they are building is new (EPR in stead of PWR), it is more difficult to build than the old type, with which people already had building experience. I mean had, back in the 70’s.

If you didn’t get the Olkiluoto-example, I have another one for you: Just think what usually happens to the first creps / pancake you make. Yep. It always fails, but still you keep doing those, ’cause you know, that as the pan gets more oil and fat (read money and experience in the energy business) the creps in the end will be sweet and tasty as heaven 😉

This is my first blog post, but not the last that you’re gonna read.

Hey, let me introduce myself. I’m Tuomas, and it’s a pleasure to see that you came to read my blog! More of me you can read from here.  My hard core interests are the energy supply of the world and what are the characteristics aka the key points of energy economics and energy technology. For example:

  • What makes the oil price be so high as it is? – OPEC and the uncertainties around the Middle East as well as the inevitable fact that the oil will end.
  • Why don’t we just make this renewable energy revolution right here, right now? – Of course, change takes time. It has taken decades in every turn of technological revolutions in the past to take place, and it is gonna take decades now. Even with quite a many people crying out loud for it, there are large scale  economical and technical facts that you have to take into consideration. Such as the fact that our electricity grid of today doesn’t allow it in a big scale. Yet.
  • Why are the people  so confident about Photovoltaics even though they are so expensive? the price will come down, it’s a law of economics, and told to me by this guy, so it must be true! Right now the countries are giving subsidies and other forms of economical aid to the renewable energy, to make it competitive in the markets.

To be honest I’m sometimes much more interested in some novel about the Roman Empire than this energy debate, but that’s just normal. In this blog, I’m gonna concentrate on the energy, since it actually really and totally is interesting! It affects your everyday life, in all the aspects of it. I’m gonna show it to you, if you keep up reading this blog. Sometimes you might want to comment on something and then, my dear reader, you will just got to do what a (wo)man’s gotta do!

Cheers!