4296Futurists identify Solar and Wind Energy in two of the top ten forecasts for 2006
- Jun 1, 2006Hreg Members,
What do Futurists have do with the field of renewable energy? A lot! Its a big deal to Futurists. Most of you don't know that I'm a graduate from the University of Houston's Studies of The Future Master's program (2004) and I'm also a PhD student in Future Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa starting this fall. That's why I ask (annoying) questions about "The Future of"...Solar, Wind, etc.
Are there any other futurists in this group? Anyways, a non-profit group called the World Futures Society included Wind and Solar energy as a BIG part of recent forecasts. In their latest publication Outlook 2006, Solar and Wind Energy made two out of the top 10 spots.
Check it out. Here are the Wind (#3) and Solar (#9) forecasts that made the list. The numbers cited for each look promising for the field of renewable energy.
Top 10 Forecasts from Outlook 2006
Each year since 1985, the editors of THE FUTURIST have selected the most thought-provoking ideas and forecasts appearing in the magazine. Over the years, Outlook has spotlighted the emergence of such epochal developments as the Internet, virtual reality, and the end of the Cold War.
Here are the editors' top 10 forecasts from Outlook 2006:
1. Nanotechnology will be used for everything from monitoring the health of soldiers in the battlefield to transforming waste into edible material. Medical therapies based on nanotechnology will reach clinical use before 2025. Ultra-tiny machines will monitor internal processes, remove cholesterol plaques from arteries, and destroy cancer cells before they form tumors.
2. U.S. public education will face an uphill battle for survival. According to the National Education Association, the amount of money required to repair ailing school facilities in the United States, build new facilities where they are needed, and outfit schools with modern technology is approaching $322 billion, or ten times the amount states are currently spending on schools.
3. Wind and tidal power will grow considerably in the next five years. Researchers have projected 5,800 megawatts of offshore renewable capacity will be installed between 2004 and 2008, of which 99% will be in the form of offshore wind farms. Worldwide, the offshore wind market will grow to $3 billion a year by 2008.
4. More doctors and hospitals will use wireless technologies such as wearable computers and mattresses embedded with sensors to help care for patients. This technology will allow for more constant and reliable monitoring of patients' vital signs. As a result, busy nurses will be freed from having to constantly ensure that patients are connected to EKGs. The technology has already been used in Finland, not only in hospitals, but also in what are being called "smart jail-cells."
5. Digital electronic assistant programs will surf the Net on our behalf and enable us to amass entire digital libraries on a given subject by doing nothing more than setting a few key search guidelines.
6. More people will be affected by Alzheimer's disease. As life spans increase, a growing elderly population is surviving into the years most prone to Alzheimer's. In developed countries, about 2% of the population already suffers from this illness. By 2054, the number of Alzheimer's patients globally could grow by a factor of three. The coming "age-wave" will also put stress on a number of public institutions not equipped to deal with large elderly populations.
7. Death by global warming. Climate changes alone could cause a 4.5% increase in the number of summer ozone-related deaths in the New York metropolitan area by 2050. When population growth and projected growth in greenhouse gases are factored in, the ozone death toll could climb by 60%.
Also, urban heat waves will get hotter and last longer. According to a computer model developed by the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, large urban centers like Chicago and Paris will experience an average of 2.8 heat-waves a year, up from 1.66 heat waves currently, representing an increase of 25%. Heat waves will last, on average, nine days longer.
8. Science in Latin America will rise considerably. Citations of science and engineering research by Latin Americans has increased nearly 200% since 1988, significantly outpacing authors in other developing regions of the world. The surge of science scholarship in the region is considered an indicator of nations' growing commitment to investing in science and engineering as a vehicle for development.
9. Look out for a job boom in solar industries, with some 42,000 new U.S. jobs by 2015. In the next decade, the U.S. solar industry could generate more than $34 billion in new manufacturing investments. Solar power could displace 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by 2025, saving U.S. consumers approximately $64 billion.10. The open-source phenomenon will transform employment as radically as blogging has changed the fields of media and journalism.
- Next post in topic >>